A fraudster named Rajnish Dutta who duped five professional photographers by promising them contractual jobs with the leading nature magazine ‘National Geographic Traveller’ has been arrested by cops from Majuli. Rajnish Dutta had swindled almost Rs 6 lakhs from five photographers and disappeared henceforth. However, in a lucky discovery, one of the photographers spotted him playing holi in Majuli in a video which was being circulated in social networking sites.
Indrajit Das, one of the victims told Northeast Now, “We met Rajnish Dutta in the year 2017 through a friend in Uzan Bazar. He claimed to be a photographer working for National Geographic and he assured us of getting a contractual job of five years in the organization. It seemed a great opportunity for us. He said that a formal email will be soon sent to us after which the recruitment process will start.”
“On November 1, 2017, my friend Priyanku Choudhury received a mail from one Michello Gellen and Rajnish claiming to be the administrative support for Nat Geo and asked him to send his resume. Subsequently, my other friends like Aditya Barnwal, Banajyoti Mali and Kulajit Dutta received such mails. In the mails, we were told that we need to deposit a fee of Rs 4,97,000 for the purpose of documentation, registration fees and making international driving license. Priyanku, Kulajit and Aditya paid Rs 1,03,000 and Banajyoti paid Rs 1,73,000 by cash in a guest house near Uzan Bazar last November in different installments” he added.
The five photographers were promised that they would be taken for training in Bhutan and Laos. However, during this period, Priyanku sent an email to National Geographic seeking confirmation of their recruitment. However, National Geographic informed them that the whole process is fraud and has been going on across the world.
When asked what made them trust Rajnish, Indrajit Das said, “Well, he had a very attractive personality and is a smooth talker. Also, the fact that the mails were sent from National Geographic letterhead made us trust him.”
It is learnt he has been using a proxy server of Nat Geo through which he managed to send such mails. Also, they are not the first group to be duped by him. He said he has conned photographers from Delhi and Himachal Pradesh in the past.
Well known wildlife photographer Udayan Borthakur who is also working for the leading environmental NGO Aaranyak told Northeast Now, “Big organizations like National Geographic would never hire people in such clandestine manner. It is always advisable to cross check with the organization before actually giving money to such people. Also, in a genuine case, money will always be transferred in the organization’s bank account and not in the person’s account.”
Fraudster Rajnish Dutta who was arrested by a team from Latasil PS led by SI C Nath is being presently brought to Guwahati from Majuli.