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Study tour fraud: Phone location leads to kingpin

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by July 31, 2017 General

New Delhi: The kingpin of a gang duping IAS officers and government departments of crores of rupees in the name of organising study tours abroad has been arrested by Delhi Police’s crime branch. The man, Anil Aggarwal (47), was tracked down with the help of his cellphone location.

Joint CP (crime) Praveer Ranjan confirmed the arrest. “The probe is at an initial stage as of now. We have information about his involvement in several cases. More details will be revealed after a thorough interrogation,” he said.

Sources said Aggarwal’s bank transactions as well as movements had been under watch ever since the FIR was registered. He was located in Andhra Pradesh where he was allegedly trying to dupe another government official in a similar fashion. On Monday, he returned to Delhi to withdraw money from his bank and was arrested.

Aggarwal has been booked under sections of cheating, criminal conspiracy and impersonation. “Aggarwal had floated an organisation called national council for training and social research (NCTSR). They posed as a subsidiary of the Delhi government on their website and in their communications with prospective victims,” said DCP (crime) Madhur Verma.

Aggarwal is being questioned about his accomplices and the identity of other victims. The role of a woman in the racket is being investigated as well, said sources. A team led by ACP Anand Mishra, inspector Vinay Tyagi and SI Dinesh has been formed to arrest the other co-accused in the case.

Delhi government had also filed an FIR against NCTSR at Vivek Vihar police station, saying that it has nothing to do with it. The numbers used by NCTSR, ending with 234 and 235, have turned out to be registered in Vivek Vihar. However, the firm is registered in Triveni Apartment, Jhilmil Colony.

“They have been using the name of the labour department to charge huge amounts for training people and sending them abroad. On September 16, the department had issued a notice to the company, seeking an explanation as to why no legal action would be initiated against them. The management of the company had failed to appear before the additional labour commissioner as per the order,” the government had stated earlier.

In the case of fraud with UPERC — as first reported by TOI last Wednesday — NCTSR had allegedly sent them a proposal in December last year, inviting them to join a study tour from March 3 to 9 on power and infrastructure to Singapore and Thailand.

The commission paid Rs 4.43 lakh for the travel of its chairman, Desh Deepak Verma. Verma paid Rs 1.74 lakh from his pocket to have his wife and daughter accompany him. However, the trip never materialised and the money was never paid. The people involved went underground subsequently. The commission then realised it had been duped. It checked the communication trail with NCTSR and found a different address in each letter.

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