The accused involved in the university engineering scam used to scout for students who had ‘allowed to keep term’ (ATKT). The Mumbai police believed the scam is much bigger than it meets the eye and more arrests may follow.
Depending on their financial status, Mumbai University students were charged anything between Rs2,000 and Rs 15,000, an officer said, adding that the money involved in the scam could be around Rs20 lakh to Rs25 lakh. “If there were agents involved in the forgery, university employees earned less,” the officer said.
A team will visit the Kalina university campus on Monday for further investigations, highly-placed sources with the Mumbai police revealed.
The scam has also exposed the nexus between student, college staff and agents. Preliminary investigations revealed that the students interacted with the agents who then contacted the staffers for taking out the answer sheets from the store room. “The agents scouted for students through word of mouth. They used to look for candidates with ATKT and used to brag about their ability to ensure that the students will pass,” said a police officer. The Bhandup police are on the look out for more agents.
As many as 92 answer sheets were recovered, indicating that as many students were beneficiaries in the case who are also accused in the case. The scam’s mastermind is Prabhakar Waze, 50, who worked as a security supervisor at the university and was helped by clerks to get papers out of the store room.
The preliminary investigations revealed that Waze was not frisked while exiting the university premises as he was a staffer. “We have learned from non-permanent staffers that while they were frisked, Waze was exempted from it as he is a permanent employee. We are verifying these facts,” said the officer.
Mumbai police are also focusing their attention on the other staffers working with the university who may also be involved. “At a rough estimate, the money involved in the scam could be around Rs20 lakh to Rs25 lakh. We are investigating further in this regard,” said the officer. The police will also check close circuit television cameras for further investigations.
The police will approach the university officials for further details such as the identities of the students who are beneficiaries and to obtain details on how the answer sheets were handled.