NEW DELHI: Police have busted a pan-India Fake degree racket operating through a city “education society”, with regional offices and over 40 agents in other parts of the country, which had allegedly sold more than 50,000 forged marksheets and Certificates of universities and school boards.
The racket was busted after police arrested three people on a complaint. It found that the gang even advertised its services besides running fake websites of over 30 education boards. Links to these websites, which appeared just like the real ones, were given to clients for verifying the ‘authenticity’ of their documents.
Police said several thousand people had got jobs in the government and private sectors on the basis of the forged certificates. The three arrested accused were identified as Pankaj Arora, 35, Pawiter Singh, 40, and Gopal Krishan, 40.
DCP (west) Vijay Kumar said police stumbled upon the racket after when a man approached the Hari Nagar cops with a complaint of having received a fake Class 10 certificate and related documents.
The complainant said he had approached Arora after seeing an advertisement in a Rajasthan newspaper which stated that he could get certificates and marksheets after paying a particular amount.
The man told the cops that he and his friends were under the impression that they would have to sit for an exam before getting the certificates, for which Arora had asked for Rs 1,31,000. Instead, the complainant and his friends received the Class 10 marksheets, migration certificates and transfer certificates of the Andhra Pradesh board through post.
Baffled, the man asked Arora how he could have scored the marks without appearing for any exam. Arora told him everything had been arranged for and there was nothing to worry about, the man said in his complaint.
The victim then checked the fake website and saw similar certificates there. Believing it to be genuine, he applied for a passport in Sikar, Rajasthan, where he was told that the certificate was fake. He then filed a police complaint.
Police said the gang had deployed more than 40 agents across India to trap people and get them enrolled in ‘SRKM Education and Welfare Society.’
The gang sold forged marksheets and degrees of renowned universities and school boards for anything between Rs 10,000 to several lakhs. Cops have launched a manhunt for three more people who are absconding.
“A team led by Vijender Singh, SHO Hari Nagar was formed and investigations in the case were taken up,” said DCP Kumar.
Police said that the team visited the office at the address mentioned in the complaint — 46/8, first floor, Ashok Nagar — but found it closed. After further probe, Pankaj was arrested on January 5. He later owned up to his crime and said that he worked as an agent and used to get all fake documents from Krishan, who printed these in his shop in Punjab.
The phone of the third accused, Pawiter Singh, was tracked to Karkardooma courts, where a trap was laid. He was nabbed while trying to flee. A sample forged certificate and the mobile phone being used in maintaining all the fake websites as well as incriminating Whatsapp communication was recovered from him. He led the team to Ludhiana, from where Krishan ran his printing shop. He was arrested and several blank forged certificates along with the computer and other items used for preparing the forged marksheets were recovered from there.
During interrogation the men told the cops that they had sold thousands of fake degrees and mark-sheets. They gave advertisements in newspapers promising to provide students and clients all sorts of certificates and degrees easily.
DCP Kumar said they were trying to track down the thousands of people who had secured jobs through these forged certificates. He said all fake websites were being managed through a single phone number and only one email address was used to create the websites.
“Efforts are being made to identify and arrest other co-accused and agents involved in this racket,” said the officer. Two of the main accused have been identified as Balvinder Singh Bajwa and Dharampal, both of whom are absconding.
Police said they were trying to probe whether any official from the education department was also involved.
Source : timesofindia