Police said that they seized over 1000 fake marks cards, seals, and other related documents.
The Central Crime Branch (CCB) on Tuesday, December 6, arrested a group in Bengaluru that sold fake marksheets from nearly 18 universities across India on WhatsApp and other social media sites. The police said that they were operating from three different locations in the city. The CCB seized the fake marksheets after conducting raids at the offices of an educational institute called Sri Venkateshwara Institute.
CCB arrested four people viz. Shilpa, the institute’s director; Sharada and Kishore, two employees; and Rajanna, the owner of a printing press. G Srinivas Reddy, the institute’s founder, and chairman is absconding. The accused allegedly sold marksheets of pre-university, BA, B Com, BSc, BBA, engineering, and MBA from 18 different universities across the country. They charged between Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 1,00,00 from applicants and also sold PhD credentials for between Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 20 lakh. The police also discovered that certain students were required to take exams and that some of them received the question and answer sheets at their doorstep. Police said that they seized over 1000 fake marks cards, seals, and other related documents.
According to a report in Deccan Herald (DH), a resident of Electronic city filed a complaint with Cyber Crime police stating that an institute offered BCom marksheets for Rs 1 lakh on his visit to its Mahalakshmi layout office on November 12. The staff promised a certificate from a reputable university after a payment of Rs 1 lakh. The report further stated that the student paid Rs 40,000 and asked when he had to appear for the exam, to which the staff told him that someone else would write it on his behalf. On November 26, the institute sent him first and second-year marksheets on WhatsApp, and when asked about the final year marksheets, the staff demanded that he pay the remaining Rs 60,000. Suspecting foul play, the student approached the police and filed a complaint.
According to Bengaluru city Police Commissioner C H Pratap Reddy, in a 12-hour operation, three police teams were able to seize the documents from Marathahalli, Kodigehalli, and Mahalakshmi Layout. The police said that Sri Venkateshwara Institute claimed to provide distance learning on their website. When applicants approached them, they were summoned to the office and informed that someone else would take their exams in exchange for a sizable payment. Many candidates engaged with the institute virtually instead of bothering to visit its office to confirm it. Once the money was paid, the accused allegedly sent the marksheets over WhatsApp and other platforms.
The marksheets that were seized belonged to Dr CV Raman University in Bilaspur, the National Institute of Open Schooling in Andhra Pradesh, the Karnataka State Open University, William Carey University in Shillong, the North East Frontier Technical University in Arunachal Pradesh, the Calorx Teachers University in Gujarat, the Swami Vivekananda Global University in West Bengal, the Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management in Sikkim, the EIILM University in Sikkim, VS Prasanna Bharati University in Haryana and IEC University in Himachal Pradesh.
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