Uthup Varghese, the prime accused in the infamous Kochi nursing recruitment scam was arrested from Nedumbassery International Airport early on Wednesday. The Emigration officials took Varghese in custody when he arrived at the Airport from Abu Dhabi at 3.30 am on Wednesday and handed him over to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).


Proprietor of Al Zarafa Manpower Consultant and Travels, Varghese allegedly swindled over Rs. 300 crores in the sensational nursing recruitment scam in 2015. The CBI had issued a look-out notice against him.

Related: 10 things you need to know about multi-crore Kochi nursing recruitment scam

Al Zarafa allegedly recruited nurses to Kuwait by collecting Rs.19.50 lakh from each, flouting norms. The scam came to light when Income Tax officials seized huge sums of unaccounted money from Al Zarafa office in Kochi. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) found that Rs 85 crores collected from the recruits were shifted abroad through hawala channels.


Even though the ED arrested Abdul Nasar, Proprietor of Malabar Foreign Currency Exchange, Kozhikode for helping Varghese transfer money through hawala channels, Varghese evaded arrest and went into hiding in Abu Dhabi when the fraud came to light.


There were reports in August 2015 that Uthup Varghese was detained by Interpol in Abu Dhabi. But later, he refuted it and alleged that the IT officials were taking revenge for not giving them bribe.


The CBI registered two cases in the multi-crore scam and filed the first charge sheet in January this year with former Protector of Emigrants (PoE) Adolfus Lawrence as the first accused.