Job seekers duped in Odisha amid pandemic
They made money when Covid-19 claimed lives and robbed thousands of people of their livelihood.
The Bureau of Immigration (BOI) has issued look out notices against Bhiku Bisoi and Manikandan, both directors of a private company named M/s Kinney Infotech Pvt. Ltd that cheated hundreds of job seekers to the tune of Rs 1 crore. The notices were issued following an alert by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Odisha Crime Branch against the duo believed to be hiding in Malaysia.
They rode their luck by taking advantage of people’s desperation for jobs when Covid-19 was at its peak in 2021. They promised jobs to local people of Bhanjanagar in Ganjam district of Odisha with work from home conditions and collected huge money as fees. “They fled after failing to keep their promise,” said Crime Branch officials.
Ganjam district accounts for the highest number of migrant labourers in Odisha. They are spread across the country.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, the EOW said the duo cheated job seekers by promising job or work from home. “Investigation of the case revealed that during the year 2021, the accused persons namely Bhiku Bisoi, a native of Ganjam district and Manikandan of Chennai, opened office at Bhanjanagar and employed some agents to persuade people to invest with their company with false assurance of providing the job or work from home. Being allured, a large number of the unemployed mass had invested crores of rupees with the company with the hope to get job. But the accused persons misappropriated the invested amounts, closed the office and fled away,” the press release said.
Look out circular is generally issued to alert immigration check posts at airports, seaports and other law enforcement agencies to stop wanted persons trying to leave a country or arrive inside the country from abroad.
According to the EOW press release, the accused persons are also directors of the Bisoyi Food and Beverage Private Limited, Bisoyi Real Estate Private limited, Bisoyi Entertainment Private limited, Gomata Dairy Private limited, Indobritt Textiles Private limited, Bisoyi Electronics Private limited and Kinney Infotech Private Limited.
The Odisha crime branch suspects that the accused persons are hiding in Malaysia. A court has also issued NBW against both the accused — Bhiku Bisoi and Manikandan. Four office bearers of the M/s Kinney Infotech Pvt. Ltd., engaged in unauthorised collection of public deposits, have been arrested and forwarded to court. They are still in judicial custody.