Within two hours of a story appearing in the online edition of the Guyana Guardian last Friday (4 September) about a fugitive scammer that had fled India for the Caribbean, the international hunt for the accused fraudster Venkata Rao Gopi and his wife quickly ended in Barbados, after authorities there matched the names of the fugitives mentioned by this publication, to that of a couple from India who was operating an offshore University there.
According to Royal Barbados Police spokesman Sargeant Michael Blackman “a Venkata Rao Gopi, an Indian national, CEO of Washington University of Barbados located at Casa Grande Hotel in Oldbury Road, Rock Hall, St. Philip, is currently in custody of the Police at the Criminal Investigation Department ….”
A senior rank at the Royal Barbados Police Criminal Investigation’s Department has since told the Guyana Guardian that they are actively engaging their counterparts in India, with some assistance from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations, with the aim of returning the fugitives to India.
This publication had reported last Friday (4 September) that at least four persons in India had committed suicide after realizing that more than 200 of them were defrauded by Mr Gopi and his wife.
The nightmarish experience for the students actually began more than three weeks ago, after a multitude of issues began to surface regarding the credibility of at least two of the offshore medical universities that they were enrolled into; – a factor that forced them to demand a refund from the university agents in India.
Many of the students had argued that at least the Guyana based offshore university did not have the international accreditation status that it has claimed, and that its degrees were not accepted in the United States and Canada.
The affected prospective students who had formed a network to exchange information among each other, had made a decision to get the police in India involved after their demand for a refund was not being adhered to. But they were too late.
This is because before the police could have made an early morning raid at the Karnataka, Tamil Nadu offices of the husband and wife team that was working as agents for the Guyana-based offshore University, they had long fled the country.