KOCHI: The city police have launched a probe into a major fraud reported in the city after a group of persons started an organisation allegedly claiming it to be handling e-governance projects for the Union government and collected lakhs from people promising jobs. Police said the fraud came to light when a person lodged a complaint with Central police station about the activities of the organisation called “Society of e-Governance Digitalisation Data Centre” in the city. Based on the complaint, police conducted a preliminary inquiry and registered a case against four accused identified as Ithihas, Shaji Alunkal, Nidiyamma Ponappen and Suresh who claimed to be managing partners of the firm.
A senior police officer said that the complainant had alleged that the accused took `22 lakh from him and his brother after promising jobs in the projects. “Though the two were given jobs for nearly two months in the office, they were not given any salary. When the complainants demanded their salary, the accused gave cheques for the amount which bounced when presented in the bank,” the officer said.
The probe found that the accused were running campaigns on social media faking their firm as a government organisation which was into handling several e-governance projects for government departments and government institutions.
“The firm does not even have a proper website. We suspect more people might have fallen victims to the fraud,” the officer said. In a report filed by police before the Sessions Court here opposing the bail application filed by fourth accused in the case, police submitted that the accused made the complainant and his brother believe that their society was a Central government establishment while it was just a society registered under Travancore – Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act,1955.
Prey to fake campaigns
Many have fallen prey to fake campaigns on social media claiming the firm as a govt organisation handling e-government departments and institutions.