Police suspect the army recruitment question paper leak may have been effected by a well-organised chain operating from Nagaland and Nagpur, and a serviceman could be involved, even as three more persons were arrested in this connection on Monday.
A team of Thane Police’s Crime Branch is carrying out a probe into the recruitment racket, which came to light Saturday night when 18 people from Maharashtra and Goa were arrested after raids.
Of the total 24 accused in the scam, 21 have been arrested so far. All of them were sent to police custody till March 4 by a local court, Joint Commissioner of Thane Police Ashutosh Dumbare said.
As per an offence registered with Kalwa Police, some of the arrested persons said they received the question papers from Nagaland and Nagpur.
Going by the information gleaned after interrogating them, police officials said they suspect the racket had been going on for the last few years.
Some of the arrested persons were running career academies since 2012.
It has also been revealed that the main accused was in touch with an Army man in Nagaland and police suspect the paper was leaked through him, they said.
A retired serviceman and a paramilitary personnel were among those arrested after Sunday’s raids.
Dumbare had earlier said 350 students, who possessed question papers for the examination conducted by the Army Recruitment Board, were also detained for questioning.
Police had received information a couple of days back from an institute which conducts coaching classes for Army job aspirants that some city students were to be given the question papers in advance for a price.
Around 80 police personnel laid a trap and caught the students and middlemen from lodges and other places with the copies of question papers, Dumbare had said.
The middlemen had also arranged for fake domicile and residence proof for students hailing from other places so as to enable them appear for the exams in that zone.
The beneficiary was to pay around Rs 4 to 5 lakh to the middlemen, Dumbare had said.
Most of those nabbed are persons who conduct coaching classes at various places for recruitment in the army.
The manner in which the leaked question papers travelled shows there was a well-organised chain leading to the beneficiaries, police said.
After the “scam” came to light, Army recruitment exams slated on February 26 at Kamptee, Nagpur, Ahmednagar, Ahmedabad, Goa and Kirkee (in Pune) were cancelled.
According to Thane City Police PRO, Sukhada Narkar, those arrested hailed from Pune, Satara, Nashik, Solapur and Wardha, among other cities.