The Central Crime Branch (CCB) police have traced the roots of a case of fake candidates writing entrance examinations conducted by the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMED-K) to Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district. The kingpin is suspected to be a close relative of a legislator in Tamil Nadu and his name was revealed by an agent arrested by the CCB police along with other 36 fake candidates — who wrote the COMED-K exam last Sunday.
The first batch of 28 fake candidates were arrested by the CISF officials at the Bangalore International Airport after finding a mismatch between their identity cards and the examination tickets they had in their possession. Hiring fake candidates – usually well-qualified persons – to write the entrance test is suspected to be part of a larger racket involving the blocking of merit seats in private colleges for sale later in the open market.
One of the accused (name withheld by police) who was working under the kingpin was acting as an agent to arrange bright students for the medical entrance examination, sources said. The kingpin is linked to other touts and also some prominent medical colleges in Karnataka, they said.
A police team has gone to Tamil Nadu to nab the kingpin and others as part of the investigations based on the information provided by an arrested agent.
Meanwhile, more than 40 policemen from the CCB conducted a search on the COMED-K headquarters at 17th Cross in Malleswaram on Saturday in continuation of the investigation into the scam. The Police said that a team headed by DCP (Crime) Abhishek Goyal, who is heading the investigation team, reached the COMED-K office at 11 am with a search warrant. The search was on till late on Saturday.
The sources said that the police have seized many documents related to the COMED-K medical entrance test conducted on May 11 across the state. The answer sheets of the accused, and other documents related to the examination process have been seized, sources said.
The police team also questioned the COMED-K president Jayaram, CEO A S Srikanth and executive secretary ‘Dr Kumar’ about the examination.
Police sources said that investigations into the case so far had revealed that at least 55 fake students attended the examination as part of the larger scam. “We have conducted a search in the COMED-K office and seized important documents including digital documents for verification,” Goyal said.
The CISF who originally found the suspect candidates handed over the suspects to the city police for investigation. The Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) police have registered cases that were transferred to the CCB for a detailed probe into the racket. The CCB police arrested seven additional persons, including two middlemen, on Tuesday based on the information provided by the 28 accused persons. All the accused persons are in police custody till Monday and many police teams are questioning them .