A Delhi University graduate and two of his associates have been arrested by the Delhi Police for operating twenty-seven fake websites which offered fake class X, class XII and other graduate and postgraduate certificates, police said on Monday.
According to police, the DU graduate- Pankaj Arora (35), had opened up an fake education welfare society office in Hari Nagar by the name of SRKM Education and Welfare Society along with his associates- Pawiter Singh, who was earlier arrested on similar charges in Ashok Vihar and Gopal Krishna, who has a printing shop in the locality.
The police have said that the group had operated the fake websites with one cell phone and one email account which made it easy for the investigators to track them down.
The police have said that the accused have also forged MBBS, B Ed, JBT, ITI, mark sheets and certificates along with school certificates from twenty-seven universities across the country.
According to DCP (West) Vijay Kumar, the case came to light when the police had received a complaint on January 3 at Hari Nagar police station about the gang. The complainant had told the police that he saw an advertisement in a local newspaper about SRKM Education and Welfare Society. “The complainant was asked by Pankaj Arora to give him Rs 1, 31, 000 for the admission and examination fees for the complainant and seven of his friends. However, after some days Arora provided them with class X marksheets, migration certificates and transfer certificates from the Board of Secondary Education through the post,” DCP Kumar said.
However, the complainant was shocked as he had never attended the Andhra Pradesh Board and raised this concern with Arora, who claimed that the certificates were genuine.
The complainant then tried to apply for a passport in his hometown of Sikar, Rajasthan the regional passport office had denied the passport claiming that his class X certificates were not genuine, police said.
After the receipt of the complaint the police had also raided the office location in Hari Nagar and found it empty. Later, the investigators mounted technical surveillance on the accused and managed to arrest Pankaj Arora who gave up the locations of his two associates.
“They accused have sold several educational qualification certificates to thousands of people. They used to get these clients using advertisements in local newspapers. The fake websites are so convincing that the victims cannot tell the difference,” said a police officer.
In December last year, six persons who had cheated more than 20, 000 people across Indian by setting up a fake education board in Delhi which issued fake school passing certificates, University degrees and forged mark sheets were arrested by the Delhi Police.
The police had said that the gang had formed an educational board- Board of Higher Education, Delhi and had also hosted their own website by the domain name -bhsedelhiboard.net. The website has claimed to have been approved by the NCERT and Directorate of Higher Education, recognized by the Education Department.
However, the Ministry of Human Resource department and Education Department of GNCT, had said that the board was fake.