Around 28 men were deceived into counting trains for days in an employment fraud, according to a complaint being investigated by police in Delhi, the capital of India.
The soldiers thought they were going through training to work for the Indian Railways.
A former army official who claimed to have unintentionally introduced the guys to the suspected con artists informed the police about the scheme.
According to local media, the victims each paid between 200,000 and 2.4 million rupees ($2,400 and £2,000) to land the job.
The economic crimes unit of the Delhi police began looking into the suspected scam in November, but it wasn’t until last week that the information was made public.
The guys, who are from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, were required to stand for eight hours each day for approximately a month at several platforms of Delhi’s major railway station. According to Press Trust of India, they counted the daily trains that went by the station there.
The guys were given the assurance that they would be employed by the railroads, one of India’s greatest employers, as ticket inspectors, traffic aides, or clerks.
After the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the victims informed The Indian Express newspaper that he had been looking for methods to feed his family.
“We went to Delhi for training – all we had to do was count trains. We were sceptical of the activity, but the accused was a good friend of our neighbour. I feel ashamed now,” he said.
Former soldier Subbuswamy told PTI that he has been assisting young men from his homeland in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar district in finding employment “without any monetary interest” for himself.
He claimed to have met a man named Sivaraman who offered to help the unemployed men find government jobs and claimed to know legislators and ministers.
Subbuswamy and the victims were then placed in touch with a different guy, who even subjected the applicants to bogus medical exams. Later, the man stopped returning their calls.
Some of the victims claimed they had taken out loans to pay the con artists.
In India, where millions of young people are anxious for steady, secure employment, scams for government jobs are frequently reported. Police in the southern Hyderabad city announced in March 2021 that they had detained two men who were supposed to have deceived about 100 applicants into believing they were being hired by the railroads.