EOW arrests 2 involved in scholarship fraud in Odisha

The Economic Offences Wing, Bhubaneswar has arrested two accused persons allegedly involved in scholarship fraud in Odisha. 

Bhubaneswar: The Economic Offences Wing, Bhubaneswar has arrested two accused persons allegedly involved in scholarship fraud in Odisha.

The two arrested persons have been identified as Nishant Prakash Jaiswal and Amar Danish, the respective State Field Officer and Project In-Charge of Vastav India Trust for Odisha, on 17.10.2023 from Ranchi, Jharkahnd in EOW PS Case No.21 dt.30.11.2022 U/s 406/ 420/ 467/ 468/ 471/120-B IPC, r/w Sec.6 of OPID Act, 2011.

After arrest, the accused persons were produced before the Ld. Court of JMFC, Ranchi and were
brought to Bhubaneswar on the strength of 43 hours transit remand. The accused persons will be produced before the OPID Court, Cuttack, today.

The above referred case is the outcome of an enquiry conducted on a petition of Sebati Mahanta and others against Vastav India Trust. The allegation was against the President, Secretary, CMD and project in-charge of “Vastav India Trust” for duping the public and parents on the pretext of
selling/supplying LED bulbs in their solar awareness program and giving prematric scholarship to the students in their ‘Chuuloo Aasman’ program to the tune of Rs.4 Cr. approx.

Subsequently, they disappeared by closing down their offices. The ‘Vastav India Trust’ registered with Sub-Registrar, Ranchi, Jharkhand, opened an office at Bomikhal, Bhubaneswar during March, 2022.

The arrested accused persons namely Amar Danish and Nishant Prakash Jaiswal being the respective Project In-Charge and State Field of the said Trust, in connivance with others launched two programmes on ‘solar awareness’ and ‘pre-matric scholarship’ namely “Chuuloo Aasman”.

Under solar awareness programme, they used to collect Rs.1650/- in cash from each applicant as member fee with assurance to supply them with LED bulbs. The survey application form so provided by the trust was containing the logo of Ministry of MSME, Govt. of India which has been forged in order to win the trust of the general public.

In their pre-matric scholarship program named “Chuuloo Aasman”, the trust was offering the scholarship of Rs.1,000/- per month up to 24 months on their one-time deposit of Rs.3,000/- as membership charge. The scholarship amount was payable to the bank account opened in the name of the parents of the concerned students.

In this way, the trust collected approx.Rs.4 Cr. from more than 3500 persons, both public and parents. After taking one time membership fees, the trust initially sent Rs.1,000/- each to some of the students but did never pay any amount thereafter.

Suddenly, the trust and the office bearers vanished by closing down their offices. The money so collected fraudulently by the trust was misappropriated by the President, Secretary, project in charge and other officials of the trust.

The trust was inducing the gullible parents and general public in the name of social welfare program and awareness. In order to facilitate its fraudulent activities, they had appointed block coordinators and other officials in the districts like Sundargarh, Bhadrak, Nabarangpur, Kandhamal, Nayagarh, Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bolangir, Dhenkanal etc.

The trust has no authority to collect the deposits. The field of operation of the Trust spreads over in States like Odisha, Jharkhand, Delhi and Bihar. EOW has alerted the concerned authorities/
police of these states soon.

During investigation, it was found that Rs.10 lakhs in scholarship fraud in Odisha has been transferred to the account of the arrested accused Nishant Prakash Jaiswal from Vastav India Trust, Rs11 lakhs has been transferred to the account of his wife.

Similarly, Rs.4.7 lakhs have been transferred to the account of arrested accused Amar Danish apart from Vastav India Trust and lakhs of rupees has directly been transferred by the victims to his account.

During investigation, many incriminating documents like trust deed of Vastav India Trust, fake money receipts issued to the investors, blank cheques, 06 No. of ATM cards, visiting card of Vastav India and mobile phones etc. have been seized.

Earlier, in this case, two accused persons i.e. the President and Secretary of Vastav India Trust have been arrested and forwarded to Court. They are still in jail. Investigation of the case is on.

Also Read: Rs.14 Lakh Looted From Man In Bhubaneswar Through Cyber Fraud

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