Updated 21 Apr 2022, 4:52 pm
As many as 23 persons, including four minors, who were allegedly collecting funds in the name of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) were nabbed by the volunteers and supporters of State Platform for Disable People Organisation (SPDPO), Manipur at Palace Gate in Imphal East on Wednesday.
As per the leaflets seized from them, the donations were collected under the banner ‘New Hope Life Foundation for Disabilities (NHLFD)’ to organise ‘The 7th Function for Disabilities (Special Programme for Wheelchair Distribution)’ which is scheduled to be held at Leikon Lampak Community Hall, Kongba Nandeibam Leikai, Imphal East on April 27.
The NHLFD founder president was identified as one Debendra Chingangbam as per an invitation card and its office is located at Chingmei Awang Leikai, Keibul Lamjao National Park Road in Bishnupur district.
It also came to light that the name of the foundation was obtained after changing its name from the Manipur Science Association, having registration No 1075 of 1972, as per a certificate issued by the office of Registrar of Societies on January 5, 2018.
One of the detained persons revealed that they are labourers hired by one Asha of Chingangbam Tiren Khongban by giving them Rs 300 per head each day.
All the 23 were handed over to a team of Porompat police station along with one Eco van, four donation boxes, leaflets and mobile phones confiscated from them.
“We never thought that such a scam would be taken up using the name of handicapped persons. It is one of the most unfortunate incidents,” said SPDPO chief advisor Sapam Jasobanta while speaking to the media after handing over the alleged scammers to police.
“The disable people have been viewed and treated as a commodity by the society,” he further said, adding that this particular scam carried out in the name of disable persons is a testimony.
He said that there have been earlier reports of such fraudulent fund collection drives under the name ‘Disable Welfare Organisation’ and as a result, frequent appeals have been made through the media to stop carrying out such fraudulent activities.
During interrogation with the scammers who were rounded up, it is learned that such fraudulent activities were carried out by a single mastermind using different names, he added.
As the scammers had been handed over to the police, it is the duty of the police to nab the mastermind of the scam and take up legal proceedings against all the culprits involved in such scams, Jasobanta said.
First published:20 Apr 2022, 2:00 pm
donationsfraudscamPersons with DisabilitiesPwDsPorompat police