The prime accused in the multi-crore nursing recruitment scam in Kerala was arrested after he landed at the international airport in Nedumbassery near here today. Uthup Varghese, owner of a private recruiting agency here which recruited nurses for Kuwait, was arrested by the CBI early this morning when he arrived here from a Gulf nation. “Uthup Varghese has been arrested,” a CBI official said. Varghese is accused of swindling over Rs 300 crore for recruiting nurses for Kuwait. He had left for the Gulf soon after the alleged scam surfaced two years ago.
Earlier, the CBI had arrested the Protector of Emigrants, Kochi, L Adolfus, suspected to be another key accused in the scam related to recruitment of nurses to Kuwait Health Ministry, for allegedly hatching a conspiracy with Varghese to send them to Kuwait.
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.