With the arrest of three men, including a 2019 Lok Sabha candidate, the Noida Police on Sunday claimed to have busted a gang that has duped hundreds of government job seekers across Uttar Pradesh over a decade.
The police have also foiled the gang's bid to secure funding from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in January fraudulently, officials said.
"Those arrested have been identified as gang leader Brajesh Kumar Verma, who prefixed his name with doctor although he is only a science graduate, Mahesh Patel and Rajveer," Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Love Kumar told reporters.
He said some people had approached the Sector 24 police station in Noida on December 15 and claimed that the accused had defrauded them after promising government job in return for money.
According to officials, Verma, who had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Macchlishahr in Uttar Pradesh, had got an NGO registered in 2007 in Allahabad and claimed his organisation has trained several people for jobs and conducted seminars.
His previous stints included working at an optician's shop in Raebareli in early 1990s but after the NGO, he opened multiple offices in various districts of the state, including one in Noida this year, the officials said.
"In October 2020, he opened a centre in sector 22 to provide training to women to make them self-reliant. He procured forged documents linked to the state government and used them to contact government schools where he pretended to organise training programmes for basic level administration jobs, beauticians, clerical jobs, etc.," Mr Kumar said.
He would even distribute fake certificates and joining letters to gullible people who got "trained" by his team in exchange for money they sought on pretext of security fees or other such charges, the officer said.
According to the police, Mr Verma has been jailed twice -- in 2011 and 2013 -- when he was held in Mainpuri and Fatehpur districts, respectively, and has so far conned an estimated 300 people in UP, including 100 in Noida and 50 in Ghaziabad.
"Showcasing his office in Noida sector 22 and frontal work of NGO, he was in talks to get a Rs 25 lakh fund from NABARD in January next year," an official said.
Some other people linked with the fraud have been identified and police said they are making efforts to arrest them.
An FIR has been lodged at Sector 24 police station and the accused have been booked for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy, the police added.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)