Only a very few of us may have seen a mobile phone without any screen or a dialing pad, operated with just a micro-battery and of a size of a matchbox.
But this tiny device was the big thing in the armoury of a gang that was out to compromise the group D recruitment examination, conducted by the East Central Railway (ECR) on Sunday.
These devices, connected via Bluetooth to tiny earpieces - less than 1 centimetre by 4 millimetre in size - were to be worn by candidates taking the examination.
The gang had planned to relay the answers through them. But before it could do so, the Special Task Force (STF) of the Bihar Police raided its Patna headquarters to pour cold water on the scheme.
Four persons - Raj Kumar Singh, Dinkar Pandey, Ajit Kumar (all from Rohtas) and Varun Kumar from Katihar - were arrested from Bhikhna Pahari area under Patna’s Pirbahore police station, as alleged kingpins of the racket.
The examination passed off peacefully as, according to the police officials, the STF intervention foiled the exam rigging plan. Yet, the communication devices used by the gang surprised many officers.
"They are really efficient devices and easy to conceal. They seem to have been manufactured in Russia or the countries around it. The gangs hitting recruitment exams are constantly upgrading their technological skills," said IG (Operations) Amit Kumar.
Altogether 11 such small phones with Bluetooth facilities, 16 earpieces, six common mobile phones, eight SIM cards, a few original certificates belonging to candidates, admit cards and Rs 55,000 cash were seized from the arrested persons.
"The candidates had to mortgage their original certificates before the examination to get the help from the culprits. Rs 3 lakh were to be taken from each of them upon selection. We are interrogating the arrested persons and investigating whether they were involved in committing the fraud in other recruitment exams also," added Kumar.
The STF has recently busted several gangs involved in compromising examinations conducted by the state government, as well as, central government organisations.