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Three persons, including a Delhi University graduate, have been arrested for allegedly running a fake degree racket since 2013 and selling forged Class X, XII, graduate and postgraduate certificates. Police said the accused had also set up 27 fake websites of various universities and boards to convince clients. According to police, DU graduate Pankaj Arora (35) had set up a fake office in Hari Nagar — SRKM Education and Welfare Society — along with his associates, Pawiter Singh and Gopal Krishna. Police said that while Singh has been arrested earlier on similar charges in Ashok Vihar, Krishna runs a printing shop in Ludhiana.
Police said the racket was operated from Ludhiana. Singh, who police claimed was the mastermind, has sold over 10,000 marksheets in the past 10 months, police said. Police said the trio operated the fake websites using one email ID and phone number, making it easy for investigators to eventually track them down.
The accused also forged MBBS, BEd, JBT, ITI marksheets and certificates of 27 universities, police said. “Each marksheet was sold for Rs 2,500-5,000 depending on the education level. School-level documents would be sold for Rs 2,500 and postgraduate ones at higher rates,” an officer said.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (west) Vijay Kumar, the case came to light when police received a complaint about the gang on January 3 at Hari Nagar police station. “The complainant told police that he saw an advertisement in a local newspaper about the office and approached them. Assuming he would have to write a test to get a degree, the complainant and seven of his friends paid Rs 1,31,000 for admission and examination fees. A few days later, Arora sent them Class X marksheets, migration certificates and transfer certificates from the Board of Secondary Education Andhra Pradesh,” DCP Kumar said.
Police said the complainant was shocked as he had never attended the Andhra Pradesh Board. Arora, however, claimed the certificates were genuine and that he had personally sorted it out with the board. The complainant then tried to apply for a passport in his hometown in Rajasthan’s Sikar. The regional passport office declined his application, claiming his Class X certificates were fake, police said.
Police then raided the Hari Nagar office but found it empty. Investigators then mounted technical surveillance on the accused and arrested Arora, who disclosed the locations of his associates.