Fraudulent activities of some foreign nationals in a so-called campus of a foreign university has been totally exposed as the executive director of Pearl Fashion Institute [PFI] in Dhaka confessed to Ekushey Television [a private TV channel] on June 29, 2011 that PFI does not have any permission from the authorities concerned in Bangladesh to operate any campus in Dhaka. Garima Shivastava, the executive director said "We are just like coaching center."
The fraudulent activities of PFI came into light when Weekly Blitz carried a number of investigative reports on this fake institution few weeks back. Following publication of the report in Weekly Blitz students and their guardian became extremely worried thinking this fraud institution has already spoiled lives of hundreds of innocent Bangladeshis in the name of degree from Nottingham Trent University in United Kingdom.
Meanwhile cheated students of Pearl Fashion Institute have filed a general diary with Gulshan Police Station on June 30, 2011 [GD Number 2442]. Sub inspector Masud Rahman has been assigned to investigate this issue. Sensing legal consequences, some of the foreign teachers of Pearl Fashion Institute are now secretly preparing to leave Bangladesh. It is also learnt that Garima Shivastava has hired some local goons, who are continuing to give threats to the students to refrain from any legal action against PFI. Garima is even trying somehow managing the situation by bribing the authorities concerned.
Professor A. K. Azad, chairman of University Grant Commission told reporters that, Pearl Fashion Institute is a fake entity and they are initiating action against it.
Dubious foreign enterprise, Pearl Fashion Institute has no permission from Bangladesh Bank [Foreign Exchange Department] for remitting huge amount of money to its head quarters in India. According to initial information, Pearl Fashion Institute [PFI] has collected TK. 380,000 from each of the students for 'degree' in Merchandising as well as in Fashion Designing. Currently there are approximately 270 students with PFI. So, till date, PFI has sent more than US$ 1.4 million to India through illegal channel.
Campus of PFI is located at road number 6 at Baridhara, where Malaysian High Commission, Embassy of Iran and Embassy of Brunei are situated. It could not be understood as to how this organization is allowed to open a campus right within the diplomatic enclave.
At the same time, PFI is running a full-fledged industrial unit inside the campus with at least 30 electrical sewing machines, cutting machines and other industrial equipment. The organization though is paying electricity bills as per commercial rates, according to existing rules, PFI should be charged under industrial tariff to pay its electricity and other utility bills. Through such means, Pearl Fashion Institute is directly evading millions of Taka each year and not paying Dhaka Electric Supply Company [DESCO], Dhaka WASA and Titas Gas, the real amount of bills.
It is also learnt that Indian nationals like Ms. Garima Shivastava, Ms. Shivani Sharma, Ms. Dhowani Khanna, Ms. Archana and Ms. Minakshi are working at Pearl Fashion Institute though most of them do not have any work permit issued by Bangladesh government for such full time employment with PFI. Academic backgrounds of these foreign nationals are also unclear.
On physical investigation of PFI, it was found that, the foreign nationals and Ms. Garima Shivastava, who is actually representing the owners of this institution are playing dilly-dally with the fate and future of hundreds of Bangladeshi students, by giving them the false impression that, PFI is an affiliated institution of Nottingham Trent University in United Kingdom.
It is also learnt that, Pearl Fashion Academy's branch in United Arab Emirates was forced to shut down, due to massive corruption and lack of any legal status. In India, Pearl Fashion Academy is considered to be a mere vocational training institute. But, in Bangladesh, PFI has been pretending to be a private university, by showing its connections with Nottingham Trent University.
Most importantly, Mr. Deepak Seth, who is chairman of Pearl Fashions Limited and Pearl Academy of Fashions is not shown to have any connection with PFI in Bangladesh on the website of PFL. Same things happen with Mr. AKG Nair, who also is the group director of Pearl Fashion Academy, but has no connections with PFI.
Though there is a button titled Senior Faculty Members on the website of Pearl Fashion Academy, there is no mention of any person in such category. It also evidently proves that, Pearl Fashion Academy is also another dubious institution. On the other hand, there is some names of individuals as members of Academic Board of PFA, whose educational details are no mentioned for reason unknown.
Bangladesh government should take immediate actions against Pearl Fashion Institute and recover millions of Taka they already have virtually looted from local students. Ministry of Home Affairs should block the frauds, which are operating PFI from leaving the country. It is learnt from dependable source that an influential MP of the ruling party has been assigned by PFI to salvage the foreigners working in PFI and to make an safe exit for them to leave Bangladesh.