Friday, September 21, 2012

Another Cheating Scam busted
NEW DELHI: Months after a gang involved in leaking postgraduate medical entrance papers at AIIMS was busted, cops have detected another similar high-tech racket. This time, the cheats were caught leaking questions of the Staff Selection Commission Exam, organized by the Government of India, via cellphones concealed in undergarments and earphones strapped to the wrist, hidden under customized full-sleeve shirts. Three people have been arrested in this connection — Shakti Khatri, Manish Khatri, Kuldeep. They were picked up from different examination centres.

The examination for filling various posts of government officials in different ministries and departments was being conducted at various centres in the city last Sunday.

Kuldeep, who belongs to Muzaffarnagar, appeared for the exam at Geeta Colony, impersonating a candidate named Rahul Phalswal. He forwarded the questions via text messages to the mastermind of the gang who dictated him the answers. Phalswal is suspected to be a major player in the racket. A hunt is on for him. Sources said that the mastermind was functioning from a control room stocked with sample papers and guide books. He also consulted experts present in the room and dictated answers to clients sitting in various centres. Students were charged anything between Rs 5 lakh and Rs10 lakh each.

The crime branch had got a tip-off on September 14 from the department of personnel and training of SSC about some candidates planning to use unfair means to clear the exam and accordingly traps were laid at the centres.

Shakti Khatri, who was nabbed from the Rajouri Garden centre, came under the scanner after his behaviour appeared to be suspicious. He didn't write anything till 11.40am. Suddenly, he began to cough and started scribbling on the question paper. After that, he began to encircle the dictated answers on the OMR sheet with his pencil. He was escorted out and a thorough search led to the recovery of earphones strapped to his shirt and the wire going through the shirt and connecting with the cellphone hidden in the undergarment.

He revealed that within 10 minutes of commencement of the exam, his associate had called him up to verify the question paper series. Around 11.40am, he began to receive the solved answer keys. Key 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the text messages corresponded to answers a, b, c and d while a zero meant the mastermind was unable to solve the question. He provided inputs about other candidates.

Cops then nabbed Kuldeep who was spotted by the flying squad after being tipped off by the crime branch. He was found to be possessing a mobile phone from which he sent two text messages to a number 8650581*** mentioning the test series number between 10.16am and 10.24am.

His interrogation revealed the name of another candidate who was receiving answers through the same modus operandi at a centre at a school in Palam. A team raided the school and arrested Manish Khatri. Manish received a call at 10.08am which lasted for 52 seconds and two calls at 11.48am and 11.49am, the source said.

Police sources believe that the racket is operating on a larger scale. The Khatri brothers were solving the same set of answers - 450MO3. Cops are interrogating the trio to get more leads and probing the role of insiders too. Several more arrests are likely. The entire operation was conducted by the special investigation team of the crime branch led by additional DCP Joy Tirkey and inspector Bhagwati Prasad.

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