The Enforcement Directorate conducted searches in the alleged nurses recruitment scam under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act at the residential premises of Puthenveettil Joseph Mathew @ P.J. Mathew, Proprietor, M/s. Mathew International, Mumbai and other premises located in Mumbai and Kerala. Several bank accounts with a total balance of ₹76 Lakh have been frozen, and documents of immovable properties at a total market value of ₹12 Crore have been seized. ED launched this operation on Thursday and continued till Friday Evening.
9000 nurses taken abroad
In 2015, Mathew international allegedly promised the nurses to recruit them for jobs in Kuwait, and 900 nurses were taken abroad charging a huge amount of money. The company had allegedly collected up to ₹20 lakhs per head instead of the permitted ₹20,000 and earned around ₹205 crore rupees. The matter came to light after several complaints were lodged. The case was first registered by the CBI in 2015 against private overseas employment agencies for recruiting nurses to Kuwait. A few arrests were also made by CBI in this case. Later, the ED registered the case under PMLA. The ED found out that this amount was taken abroad through hawala transactions. The firm was accused of forcing the applicants, who gave ₹20 lakh, to give in writing that they had collected only the mandatory service charge of ₹20,000. The ED has attached properties worth ₹7.51 crore of Mathew and his relatives Celine Mathew and Thomas Mathew.
According to information, ED kept a watch on parked money trails and conducted searches in P.J. Mathew's residential and office in Mumbai and Kerala.