Manhunt still on for fake doctor who stole identity of Wigan medic

The fake identity card used by Shyam Acharya, during his Australian fraud
The fake identity card used by Shyam Acharya, during his Australian fraud

Detectives in Australia have confirmed they are still hunting for a bogus doctor who stole the identity of a Wigan medic.

Fraudster Shyam Acharya pretended to be Dr Sarang Chitale, a rheumatologist for Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.

Shyam Acharya

Shyam Acharya

An investigation showed he had started misusing Dr Chitale’s credentials in 2003 and worked at several medical establishments until 2014.

One of his later employers, a medical research company called Novotech, became suspicious and he was prosecuted by the Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Last March Acharya, then 41, was fined $30,000, and ordered to pay costs of $22,000, after he was convicted of fraud in his absence by a Sydney magistrate.

Later a “strike force” was established by New South Wales police to trace his whereabouts.

Acharya was reported to have fled to India and fraud complaints has been filed with police in Pune province.

While Indian police have pledged to assist their counterparts in Australia, no arrest is understood to have yet been made.

The bogus doctor is said to have stolen Dr Chitale’s university degrees and medical certificates when the pair lived together at the Wigan medic’s grandmother’s house in India, around 1999 or 2000.

A New South Wales Police spokesman said: “Investigations into allegations of fraud under the NSW Police Force State Crime Command’s Strike Force Mandine continue.

“As investigations are ongoing, no further information is available at this time.”

Acharya’s conduct led to an internal inquiry by health authorities in Australia, after it was found he had worked for no fewer than five hospitals in the

Sydney and Central Coast areas. The General Medical Council in the UK has also been kept informed.