Indian national Uthup Varghese, who is facing a CBI probe in the nursing recruitment scam running into crores of rupees in Kerala, has been arrested by Interpol in Abu Dhabi.
Based on the CBI directive, Interpol had issued a red-corner notice against Varghese, owner of a private nursing recruiting agency here which recruited the nurses for Kuwait. He was arrested in Abu Dhabi a couple of days back, CBI sources aware of the development said.
Varghese, who allegedly swindled over Rs 300 crore for recruiting nurses to Kuwait, will be brought to Kerala to face probe once extradition processes are completed, they said. The arrest came even as his lawyers in New Delhi had moved the Supreme Court seeking anticipatory bail.
Earlier in June, the CBI had arrested the Protector of Emigrants, Kochi, L Adolfus, suspected to be another key accused in the scam related to the recruitment of nurses to Kuwait Health Ministry, for allegedly hatching a conspiracy with Varghese to send them to Kuwait.Adolfus also allegedly took a bribe from Varghese.
The CBI sources said Varghese, owner of Al Zarafa Travels, went abroad after the scam surfaced. They had issued a notice to him to appear before the agency but he absconded. The case relates to financial fraud allegedly committed by the Kochi-based agency for recruiting nurses to Kuwait.
The firm had recruited hundreds of nurses in the past one year after collecting Rs 19.50 lakh as fee from each of them. The agency was supposed to collect only a service charge of Rs 19,500.The firm is also accused of forcing the applicants, who gave Rs 19.50 lakh, to give in writing that they had collected only the mandatory service charge of Rs 19,500.
The CBI started probing the case after the Income Tax department officials found a large amount of unaccounted money during a raid at the premises of the recruitment agency.