TWO men have been arrested in India for allegedly operating a fake visa racket to recruit hundreds of medical staff for a hospital in Bahrain.
Karnataka’s Crime Intelligence Bureau detained the suspects in Mangalore, according to the Times of India.
The arrests were made following the publication of an advert in January’s Malayala Manorama’s Kannur edition in northern Kerala claiming that the American Mission Hospital (AMH) was recruiting nearly 300 staff.
The advertisers JCG Associates, a company registered with the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, coned people by promising them bogus jobs in the hospital.
On its website, the company claimed to be a leading manpower agency based in Karnataka, providing specialised services in the health care, oil and gas, information technology, construction and hospitality sectors. It boasted clients in Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Europe and lists Canute D’Souza as its operations manager.
The GDN reported in February that the advert said 40 vacancies for university-qualified nurses with salaries of BD400, 100 for general nurses with BD300, five X-ray technicians with BD200 and 20 ambulance drivers with salaries of BD180 were available. Thirty security guards with BD150, 40 ward boys with BD130 and 40 cleaners with BD80 were also reportedly up for grabs.
AMH officials earlier confirmed the advert was fake and that the hospital did not have any recruitment agencies in India. At the time, general practitioner Dr Babu Ramachandran said he had been bombarded with calls from people in Bahrain who were asked by relatives in India to enquire about the vacancies.
Labour Ministry and Labour Market Regularity Authority (LMRA) officials had previously warned job-seekers not to fall prey to bogus adverts in newspapers offering work in Bahrain. The Indian Embassy previously forwarded a complaint with details to the ministry and the Protector of Emigrants organisation in Dehli and Kerala. The Karnataka chief secretary was also informed because the recruitment agency was registered in his state.
The GDN was earlier invited to an interview after responding to the advert pretending to be someone enquiring about the post of a nurse for her sister. Selected candidates were asked to pay Rs45,000 (BD372) to be posted at the hospital, though no guarantee was given that those who pass the interview, would get the job. A woman, who introduced herself as Smitha, claimed the agency received around 150 applications for the interview and that hospital representatives would attend.
However, when the GDN tried to contact the agency, the person who answered the phone repeatedly hung up after learning the call was from Bahrain.
Gulf Daily News