Nurse recruitment scam accused arrested in Kerala

Kochi: Two years after the Rs 200 crore nurse recruitment scam surfaced in Kerala, the CBI on Wednesday morning arrested the skulking key accused M. Varghese Uthup here.

After being picked up when he alighted from a Middle East flight here, Uthup told the media that he will reveal everything at the appropriate time.

The 50-year-old who was stay put in Kuwait and moving to other Middle East countries to evade the arrest, had no other option but to surrender after the Kerala High Court and the Supreme Court earlier rejected his anticipatory bail plea.

Uthup has been charged with cheating, conspiracy with a public servant to commit criminal misconduct, and collection of excess service charge from emigrants.

His Kochi-based firm has allegedly been recruiting nurses to Kuwait and instead of collecting a service charge of Rs 19,500 only, it was taking Rs 19.5 lakh.

According to reports, the firm has recruited around 1,000 nurses during 2014-15.

Trouble started for Uthup, who hails from Kottayam, when an Income Tax Department raid at his recruitment agency here in 2015 found huge sums of unaccounted money.

The CBI stepped in after a nurse who had paid fees to the firm but decided not to take up the job alleged that she did not get her money back.

According to her, she approached the Protector of Emigrants (PoE) L. Adolfus for help, but got a cold response.

Adolfus, an accused in the same case, was earlier arrested by the CBI and is out on bail.