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Fake recruitment scam unearthed in Military Engineering Service, 5 held

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Police in North Kashmir’s Kupwara have dismantled a fraudulent recruitment scheme preying on the aspirations of young job seekers.

Police said that on September 1, 2023, one Mumtaz Ahmad Mir, residing in Gund Zonareshi Chowkibal, lodged a formal complaint with the Kralpora Police Station, alleging that his son, Mohd Sami Mir, had fallen victim to a recruitment scam orchestrated by a person namely Nazir Ahmad Khan, a resident of Doolipora Trehgam. The complainant asserted that his son had been swindled of Rs. 70,000 under the false pretense of securing employment within the Military Engineering Service (MES), accompanied by a counterfeit appointment letter.

Responding swiftly to this complaint and supported by credible intelligence from the Military Intelligence (MI), the Kralpora Police Station initiated legal proceedings by registering and FIR vide number 76/2023. This FIR encompasses pertinent sections of the law, marking the commencement of a thorough investigation.

During the investigative process, statements from key witnesses were recorded, and counterfeit appointment letters were seized as evidence. Nazir Ahmad Khan was subsequently apprehended in connection with the scam. Further revelations unfolded as the accused disclosed his affiliation with a group of scammers employing a distinctive modus operandi to defraud unemployed youths eagerly seeking positions within MES. Additionally, he divulged the identities of his four collaborators as Zahoor Ahmad Mir, resident of Rawathpora, Shakeel Ahmad Makroo, resident of Awantipora, Feroz Ahmad Khashu, resident of Shaltang Srinagar and Shafkat Ahmad Shah, resident of Pampore Pulwama.

Utilizing the evidence at hand, special police teams dedicated to this case swiftly apprehended all four individuals. Notably, Shakeel Ahmad Makroo emerged as the mastermind, operating under the alias “Raju,” presenting himself as an influential Kashmiri Pandit and an MES officer stationed at Rangreth Srinagar. He enlisted the assistance of Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Feroz Ahmad Khashu, and Nazir Ahmad Khan as field agents, entrusted with the task of extracting money from unsuspecting job seekers, and promising them MES positions. Shafkat Ahmad Shah, the technical expert of the operation, was responsible for fabricating and printing counterfeit appointment letters and other documentation. He operated from the “Helpline advertising agency” in Rangreth Srinagar, where he manufactured these fraudulent documents.

As of now, the gang has duped approximately eight innocent unemployed youths hailing from North Kashmir, amassing an illicit sum of roughly Rs. 25 lakhs. Substantial evidence, including counterfeit appointment letters, gate passes, laptops, desktops, printers, and cell phones, have been seized from the possession of the accused. The investigation remains ongoing, with expectations of additional arrests and further financial recoveries as the case unfolds. [KNT]

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