The top management of a Dehradun-based company, with a sprawling office in the city, has been accused of duping at least 600 individuals from Mumbai under the guise of offering ‘assured recruitment’.
PC Technology Pvt Ltd, which positioned itself as an I.T startup, asked candidates to pay Rs 25,000 upfront towards a three-month training programme and guaranteed jobs upon its completion, along with a partial refund of the paid amount.
However, 600 individuals who had paid and signed on for the programme were in for a rude shock when they discovered the office space sealed after returning from the Independence day holidays.
The notice outside the office stated that the office was sealed due to non-payment of rent and utility bills. The 4,500 sq.ft office, located on the 1st floor of Ashar IT Park in Thane, was taken on rent earlier this year from KJ Infra.
Apart from Mumbai, the company also had offices in Pune, Bengaluru, Dehradun, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Chennai and Hyderabad, each home a few hundred candidates. All offices were either sealed or permanently shut during the weeklong I-day holidays without any prior notice to candidates. The company’s website (http://pctechnology.co.in/) has also been taken down.
Sunil Lokhande, DCP of Zone 5, told a leading daily, “Around 600 people were cheated and Rs 1.5 crore extorted from them. We have come to know the fraud also occurred in various other cities, so the case will be transferred to Economic Offences Wing. Also, there is a possibility of more people coming forward claiming they have been similarly cheated, so the number of victims in Mumbai itself may might increase.”
Following the incident, a cheating case has been registered at Wagle Estate police station against the company’s top officials Chaya Singh, Yashraj Singh and Pankaj Kumar on Monday. However, no arrests have been made as all of them are currently absconding.
According to one trainee, he was first invited for a walk-in interview and subsequently selected. Then he was asked to pay Rs 25,000 and sign a bond, which stated that Rs 18,000 will be refunded by the end of the 90 day training period. His training was about to complete by the end of this month.
Arnam Ghosh, who was selected as a trainee, said, “I walked in for an interview thinking it’s like any other company. But when they asked me to pay money upfront, I knew something was amiss. So, I started digging. I eventually found that there were a lot of red flags about the company’s authenticity like – the lack of a clear business model, no history of establishment, no clients, no salary slips, salary delays, complaints on online portals etc. That was enough for me to take a decision.”
Ghosh said that he also warned a few friends who were lured by the company, but unfortunately many were attracted to their ‘guaranteed job placement’ offer.
According to initial estimates, the company has duped over 2000 candidates and fled with over Rs 5 crore.
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