Bangalore police arrested a man who posed as the vice-chancellor (fake VC) of a fictitious university and created a grant commission, cheating nearly 70 colleges and universities.
Fake VC from West Bengal:
The accused, Santosh Lohar (35), is a native of Nadia district in West Bengal.
Based on a complaint by T C Arivalagan, chairman of a private educational trust in Chennai, police arrested Santosh Lohar from his residence in Hulimavu. The police seized Rs 8.96 lakh, credit cards, cheque books and several documents belonging to various universities from him. His bank account containing Rs 27 lakh was frozen.
The police said Lohar, who owned an office at JP Nagar 5th phase, was going around in a red beacon car bearing a fake Government of India logo. Efforts are on to trace his associates Shivakumar, Babu, Mahesh, Chandrashekar, Subroto Das and Rajesh, who are absconding.
Lohar had created a fake Bio Chemic Education Grant Commission (BCEGC) and opened a website to update gazetted notifications. He and his associates used to get contact numbers and email addresses of chancellors and directors of various universities and colleges across India.
He used to send out emails, enquiring if they required permission to start Bio-Chemic, Bio-Medical and paramedical colleges, and 144 other courses.
If the university replied, he used to meet them, posing as the chief operating officer-cum-vice-chancellor of BCEGC, the police.
He met Arivalagan and told him that he can start Bio–Chemic, Bio-Medical and paramedical colleges in Attappadi in Kerala, Vadalur in Tamil Nadu and Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh.
Lohar produced permit certificates issued by the BCEGC and asked Arivalagan to go ahead with the construction of the colleges. Lohar also inspected the spot along with his associates, who posed as officers from BCEGC.
The complainant said he paid Rs 78.40 lakh to Lohar and went ahead with the work.
A few days later, Arivalagan came across a report published on April 24, 2016, in a national daily in West Bengal that said BCEGC is a fake university, and not affiliated to the Central government.
He questioned Lohar about it, but was told the report was false. “Lohar convinced Arivalagan to go ahead with the construction,” the police said.
“On May 6, the complainant got information that Shymal Dutta, CEO of BCEGC, was arrested in West Bengal by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Arivalagan went to Lohar’s office and found it locked. His phone was not reachable. He lodged a complaint with the JP Nagar police. Lohar was arrested after investigation.”