A private college is associated with the vocational education loans scheme debacle has had its assets frozen after a person close to the directors transferred $30 million to a bank account in India.
Federal Court judge Geoffrey Flick yesterday ordered the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac to clarify the nature of the $30m transfer to a Mumbai bank account by Surinder Kaur, who resides with Unique International College chief executive Amarjit Singh and his father.
Several people associated with Unique, which stands accused of inappropriately enrolling thousands of students and is being pursued by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission for more than $57m, have also had assets frozen.
The college was the first of several targeted by the competition regulator after allegedly misleading consumers, many in Australia’s poorest communities, into signing up for costly skills courses in exchange for “free” laptops and other perks.
Those enrolling were allegedly told their qualifications were free — however, they are being funded by taxpayer-backed loans of up to $100,000 that have to be repaid once students begin earning more than $54,000 per year. Because many of those enrolled were allegedly illiterate or disabled, it is unlikely the money will ever be repaid, leaving students with large debts and taxpayers out of pocket.