Ex-Manipal staff, 149 others held in exam leak cases

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Ex-Manipal staff, 149 others held in exam leak cases

Bengaluru: After 75 days of investigation into the police and BMTC recruitment question paper leak cases, the Bengaluru Central Crime Branch (CCB) police arrested 150 accused, including a former employee of Manipal Technologies unit in Udupi.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Alok Kumar said on Monday that the CCB sleuths had used informal ways to extradite Anil Francis, the former employee, from Sharjah, where he is employed with a private firm since January.

The CCB sleuths established contact with people close to Francis and forced him to fly back. He was arrested at the Kochi Airport.
During interrogation, Francis confessed that he was contacted by Ameer Ahmed, a travel agency owner from Davangere, through a common friend on Facebook.

Ahmed contacted Francis a few months before the examination and offered him Rs 17 lakh to steal question papers from the Manipal printing press, where all the question papers are printed.

Francis further confessed that when he was working at the press, he stole the question paper form the shredder room, photocopied the contents and handed it over to Ahmed near Manipal Hospital mortuary a couple of days before the police constable exam.

Ahmed, who was also arrested in the case, told the police that he sold the question paper for Rs 55 lakh to C J Basavaraju in Tumakuru.

Out of the Rs 55 lakh, Ahmed used Rs 25 lakh to pay a home loan and the remaining amount was invested in Kannada movie ‘Half boiled’, which is yet to be released.

Basavaraju acquired the list of candidates who have applied for the exams offered the question paper for Rs 8 lakh per candidate.

A group was then formed to collect Rs 1.9 crore as advance from 117 candidates who approached them through the kingpin, Shivakumar alias Shivakumaraiah alias Guruji.

The CCB officials arrested Shivakumar, his associates, agents, constables, an assistant sub-inspector and a revenue official.

The CCB officials first raided SKS High School in Doddakodali village in Shanivara Sante and arrested kingpin Shivakumar, his associate Naveen and also detained 117 candidates who were preparing for the exam, scheduled to be held the next day.

Basavaraju managed to escape from the spot. He later obtained an anticipatory bail but failed to appear before the CCB officials. Basavaraju was later arrested from Solapur.

Alok Kumar further said that the accused also tried to leak the PSI recruitment question paper but they were not successful as all of them were under arrest.

Basavaraj and Ahmed were involved in the 2010 COMED-K question paper leak, they were arrested in connection with the 2014 APCET question paper leak.

Earlier, Ahmed was in contact with Naveen, a security guard at the Manipal Press. After Naveen quit, Francis replaced him and Ahmed contacted Francis through a woman on Facebook.

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