Police nab impostor who preyed on parents seeking school admission

By Damith Wickremasekara

A man who posed off as an official of the Ministry of Education and collected large sums of money from parents, promising to get their children admitted to leading schools, has been nabbed by the Thalangama police.

The 55-year-old impostor, Botheju Ranjith from Digana, Kandy, approached parents calling over at the Education Ministry concerning school admissions problems, and offered his services, claiming he was attached to the Audit department and could intervene in gaining school admission, according to Thalangama OIC Upul Perera.

The imposter established his bona fides with the unsuspecting parents, by meeting them close to the audit branch of the Education Ministry and telling them to wait outside the branch. He would then walk into the office and speak to a couple of employees and would come back to the parents assuring them of the admission of their child for Rs. 40,000.

He collected an advance of about Rs. 20,000, promising to call back, saying the documents would be handed over to the provincial council office. The man, claiming he had no telephone, would take down the phone number of the parents.

He always called back from a roadside telephone booth to collect the balance, issuing a receipt for the money, saying that the matter would be resolved in a few weeks time. Thereafter the man disappears.
Police acted on a complaint from a parent who had lost his money, in his attempt to get his child admitted to a leading school in Kiribathgoda.

Police are appealing to persons who had given this impostor money for school admissions, to call over at the Thalangama police station. The suspect is in remand custody until June 14.

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