The Direct or of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has recommended that no charges be laid against the woman at the centre of a bogus nursing school scam which left dozens of people scrambling to retrieve their monies.
Nalini Budhram who went under various aliases was arrested in January, days after Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy accused her of running a bogus nursing education outfit described as the Inter-American Nursing School. Hundreds of unsuspecting young people were scammed of large sums of money which they had paid for their respective courses.
While being held, the woman repaid some of the students their money and then she was released on $100,000 bail.
A senior police officer had told this newspaper the DPP had ordered further investigations into the matter and as such the woman was released on station bail. When contacted yesterday Crime Chief Seelall Persaud said that the DPP has recommended no charges be laid against the woman.
Stabroek News understands that the woman still owes a large amount of money and from all indications the payments have stopped.
One student said recently that the woman made two payments to her but still has about $20, 000 outstanding. She was unsure when she would receive that.
The scam was revealed by the Health Minister at a press conference at which he had threatened to go to the police over the unaccredited nursing school which was being operated from a building at Cummings Street, George-town.
He had described the school as “a skilful little operation” that was posing as legitimate and duping young people across the country.
He said that it was students who brought his attention to it while he was in Berbice.
Based on students’ reports the school was established some time in early August last year and all the courses were expected to run for a six-month period. Many students said they learnt of the school via television and newspaper advertisements.
For three weeks now, this newspaper has been making continuous efforts to contact Education Minister Shaik Baksh for information on the Accreditation Board and the bogus institution. Minister in the Ministry of Education, Dr Desrey Fox had said last month that Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon had named a new board but she did not know who the members were.
She advised this newspaper to make contact with the Board’s office located somewhere in Brickdam.
This newspaper later learnt that it was located in the ministry’s Lot 68 Brickdam building but the reporter was told that it had been closed since early last year and the person who was in charge was now working at the Teaching Service Com-mission.
This newspaper was also told that it is the Minister who would send out letters of appointment.
Stabroek News called Baksh’s office again yesterday to inquire about the new board and a claim made by two former members that the board never met for 2008, greatly decreasing the chance that a bogus teaching institution such as the Nursing School would be detected.
His secretary after putting this reporter on hold said that he was not answering his office phone.
Though she had a name and contact information which was left repeatedly over the last several weeks, a call was never returned.
The board is responsible for accrediting teaching institutions.