Indian national, Venkata Rao Gopi who was arrested in Barbados last Friday after news reports surfaced that he was wanted in India in connection with a major fraud that had led to at least four suicides, has been remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison, at Dodds in St. Michael Barbados, earlier today.
When Investigators from the Royal Barbados swooped down and handcuffed Gopi, they first thought that it was a case of now arranging to shuttle him back to India where he is wanted along with his wife for allegedly defrauding more than 200 people who were hoping to get into an offshore medical university in Guyana, Barbados, and elsewhere.
But students had realized that medical degrees that were being offered by the University in Guyana and in Barbados were not recognized elsewhere, even though they appeared as Accredited on the Guyana Accreditation Council Website while in Barbados the other university was said to be receiving its recognition from the Barbados Accreditation Council.
Gopi is said to be the head of the Medical University in Barbados, and had even offered a toured of the University by Barbados Government officials and the Minister of Education, who said that the university was above board.
The other offshore medical university in Guyana was also similarly said to be above board by Guyanese government officials.
But now, a dark side to all of it has been unravelling in recent days, after more than 200 people in India claimed that they had allegedly paid monies to both universities through Gopi, who fled India after the students discovered that the degrees would be useless, and before police could have arrested him.
However, while the police in Barbados thought that they had a simple open and shut case, the owners of the property that Gopi has been operating his Washington University of Barbados presented three bogus cheques that the university operator had allegedly given to them, which totalled US$105,000 (equivalent to about $21.7 million Guyana dollars).
Gopi is said to also be indebted to the property owners by several thousand dollars more.
As a result, police moved in to charge the Indian national for the bounced cheques, but by the time they were finished, more bounced cheques came in, with one equivalent to some US$15,000 for furniture that was bought by the man.
Appearing before the St Matthias Magistrates’ Court today on multiple fraud charges, the presiding magistrate remanded the 42-year-old Gopi, who was staying at #11 Falcon Crest, Tuscany, Oldbury, St Philip, to prison.
However, since his arrest, more than 40 staffers are now asking what would happen to the more than 3 months salary that they were owed, while some 200 students (mostly from India) are said to be in a state of depression, since they are all surprised at what was occurring before them.
It now remains unclear as to whether any assistance would be forthcoming from the Barbados government, in addition to if the students can somehow be allowed to be integrated into the University of the West Indies. But an official at the admissions office there told this publication around noon today, that “such a suggestion is definitely out of the question”.