Jatni: Around 50 youths approached the police here Wednesday alleging that a man from Siko in Jankia police limits had defrauded them of Rs 20 lakh promising them jobs.
According to the complaint, the fraudster had opened an office `Health of Food Corporation’ at Sandhapur here around six months ago and recruited local youths to gain confidence. “The youths convinced others into joining the firm. Apart from providing employment with the Health of Food Corporation, the firm collected Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh from candidates as caution money for opportunities with the Railways as well,” said a duped youth, adding that they were even provided fake offer letters.
Things were rosy for the first three months and ‘employees ‘received salary. The employees grew suspicious when the firm stopped disbursing salaries after the third month.
“Apart from the deposits from job seekers the fraudster also minted lakhs using the gullible youths. Our work involved surveying colonies and collecting Rs 50 from each household having children below 10-year-olds promising them Rs 200 and nutritious food monthly,” another victim said.
Later, one morning the office was locked and the cheat was unreachable. “He downed the shutters of the office and decamped with our money as well as the collected amount,” the complaint said. Apart from Jatni, the man had duped several people by opening offices in Bhubaneswar and Puri as well, said the complaint signed by Brundaban Routray, Mirahai Pradhan and Sagarlka Pradhan and others. “To take the victims into confidence he provides them forged appointment letters on Railways letterheads signed by high officials.
Prasant Nayak, one of the duped job seekers who had lost Rs 50,000 to the fraudster, said he is yet recover from the shock as it was no less than a nightmare. “My Job was to jot down the name and number of trains crossing Barang station. Although, I managed the Herculean task for 15 days amid soaring heat from 9am to 9 pm, I was taken aback after realising the scam,” Nayak said, adding that several Job aspirants were also told do a similar work at Lingaraj Road and other halts.
Suryakanta Moharana, a resident of Jatni, who worked for the sham firm and collected Rs 50 from households, said that several residents of Jatni were asking him about the scheme and he is blank on how to counter them.
Jatni police have detained a man on the basis of the complaints. “Investigation is underway. The culprit will be soon behind bars,” Jatni inspector in-charge (IIC) Sanjib Mohanty said.
Meanwhile, ECoR PRO Nirakar Das advised job seekers not to fall prey to fraudsters to get Jobs with railways. “We have been alerting job seekers through newspaper advertisements. Besides, recruitment advertisements are also being notified through media. For se-curing a job with railways, a candidate needs to qualify multiple phases including written and verbal tests. There is no ‘shortcut’ to get a job in the railways,” Das said, adding that now, railway exams and results are available online.