Kohima June 20: As reported incidents of crime and racial abuse against the North East people living in Delhi continue to increase, so are cases of people from the region being duped or cheated by fraudsters in different scenarios.
An overwhelming number of cases of fake job consultancies charging money to provide employment, nonpayment of salary by companies, unsolicited emails and targeting of women on social media etc continue to flood the North East Cell, a special unit under Delhi Police and helpline no- 1093 on a daily basis.
A recurring trend in the national capital targeting people from the region is the emergence of fake consultancies/recruitment agencies charging money while promising high paying jobs.
The modus operandi of these consultancies is to identify potential victims and assure them high profile jobs. They demand large sums of money as part of the process to secure the job, and once the payment has been made the consultancies disappear.
“Complaints related to NE people duped by fake consultancies continue to pour in to the North East Cell, a special cell to aid people from the NE under Delhi Police,” Chumbemo M Patton, one of Nagaland State’s representatives in the North East Cell said.
Chumbemo, who is also the General Secretary of Pragtisheel Vision Foundation, an NGO, revealed how he himself received 90 such cases of people from Nagaland duped by fake consultancies. A recent case involved a woman who paid Rs 23,000 to one such consultancy with the promise of a job at the capital’s airport. The woman did not get the job and the consultancy disappeared.
In another case, a woman had to dole out lakhs of rupees after a consultancy promised her the job profile of a manager in a reputed company in Dubai with a pay package of around Rs 1.5-2 lakh (Indian currency) per month. But when the woman reached Dubai, she discovered that her job profile was a “Nanny.”
“People have to be aware that a genuine consultancy will not charge a single rupee from the candidate. If any recruitment consultancy pushes you into any kind of upfront payment then be certain that it is a fraudulent recruitment agency,” Chumbemo pointed out.
Nonpayment of salary
Nonpayment of salary to NE people by company owners after employing them for months is occurring recurrently. Chumbemo said a major chunk of calls coming to the North East Cell is related to nonpayment of salary. “We get at least 1-2 calls related to nonpayment of salary in a day,” he disclosed.
In a recent case, 21 youths from Nagaland and Manipur were left to fend for themselves after a Noida based company they were employed in locked up and disappeared. Most of the employees were working for 2-3 months without salary. They had rent bills pending and nothing to eat. The youths received their salary only after the intervention of the North East Cell, Chumbemo said.
“One reason may be because the North East people tend to be lethargic and gullible and trustingly go to work without getting any official written appointment order except kind of verbal contract,” he observed.
Companies in this scenario mostly happen to be BPOs, and in some cases spas and wellness centres. The employees are made to work for 2-3 months or more without salary after which the company locks up and disappears.
It has emerged that bogus BPO companies taking advantage of the work force of the people from the NE use them in IRS telephonic impersonation scams. This involves selling and buying of fake shares to people in other countries.
Misuse of bank accounts
A number of cases have also emerged of bank accounts, particularly SBI accounts, belonging to NE people being used in committing scams. The genuine accounts are reportedly purchased by the perpetrators for an amount and then used in committing the crime.
In a recent bank account hacking case, Delhi Police discovered that the money from the hacked account was transferred to around three SBI accounts which were traced to Nagaland.
Further reports have emerged, though unverified, that middlemen in Nagaland are targeting unsuspecting people, for instance villagers to open bank accounts with their identities and sell it to them, Chumbemo said. There are also people who open accounts using fake/forged documents just to sell them to criminals.
Vestng investigative powers to SPUNER?
As crimes committed against NE people increase, there is a growing need for the 24/7 Special Police Unit for North East Region (SPUNER), North East Cell, under Delhi Police to be vested with more powers.
Chumbemo said SPUNER needs to be provided with authority to lodge FIR, complaint on their own along with investigative powers and a dedicated independent police station.
“As of now, SPUNER has no power to lodge FIR/complaints on its own. They can only monitor or enquire on the cases related to NE people and act as a go between the Delhi Police and the victims,” Chumbemo stated. He contended that vesting investigation power to the special police unit would go a long way to deal/act on crimes committed against NE people.
In 2014, a total of 280 cases of crimes against North East people were registered by police, while in 2015, 295 cases were registered, 230 cases in 2016 and14 cases this year as on March 2017. During these intervening years, there were 663 cases of quarrel, 8 murder cases, 17 rape cases, 171 theft cases, 198 cases of salary dispute, 176 landlord-tenant dispute, 105 cases of eve teasing, 21 cases of molestation of women and 25 cases of racial discrimination among others.
In March 2017, Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju told the Rajya Sabha that altogether 81 women from the North East have been raped in Delhi since 2014.
Source: Morung Express