Police hunt fake healers, fortune tellers from India

The Ministry of Home Affairs has reportedly ordered police to arrest several Indian nationals after they allegedly scammed several Guyanese into believing they possessed mystical powers capable of solving problems.

The men, who described themselves as India’s Most Famous Astrologer, Pandits and other such fancy sounding titles, have all disappeared.

It is believed that within a seven-week period, they raked in millions of dollars. Police are specifically looking for one at David Street, Kitty.

Emerging evidence suggests that the “pandit” had at least four other accomplices, also Indians, who operated on the East Coast, East Bank and West Bank Demerara. Police are also looking for them. It is now believed that the men arrived together on three-month visas and went their separate ways.

Checks at an exclusive residential area at Ruimzeight Tuesday found that the “pandit” there hurriedly left Saturday without paying his rent. According to a businessman who operated a home close to an Ashram, almost seven weeks ago, an Indian national rented his place for G$40,000 per month.

“He did not tell me what he wanted to do. Another Indian came and I refused to rent him another place.”  The Ruimzeight residence saw a steady stream of visitors with many persons coming with all kinds of problems including sickness, domestic and money problems.

On Saturday, hours after Kaieteur News had visited the David Street, Kitty operations, the Ruimzeight businessman said that he received a call from his tenant who indicated that he had an emergency in India and had to leave. There was still rent owing.

A few miles away at a Chinese restaurant in Vreed-en-Hoop, another “pandit” who moved into the upstairs Saturday left suddenly over the weekend for Berbice. It was unclear when he would be returning.

While there, Kaieteur News staffers saw one, obviously sick woman who came to visit the “pandit” but was met with the padlocked doors.  At Bagotstown, another “pandit” was not available and there was “no idea when he would be back”.  An alleged victim Tuesday claimed that he visited the Bagotstown “pandit” after his wife left him and went overseas.

“I tell he I want her back. He tell me to pay G$35,000 and he will do a puja and she will come back in three days. I tell he to do the puja and I will pay him G$100,000.”  At David Street, religious flowers and other decorations adorning the doorway to the pandit’s office/home had been taken down and calls to phones went unanswered.  And an official of the Indian High Commission, when questioned Tuesday, said that the Commission is not notified when Indians visit Guyana since the only contact would come when there are requests to renew passports or other immigration issues.

Speaking with this newspaper Tuesday Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee, said that the police have been actively pursuing the fraudsters who he confirmed had not been granted work permits.

“We have an exercise to round them up because they are in breach of our laws. We have been tracking them down based on the addresses they advertise,” the minister told Kaieteur News. ~Kaieteur News

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