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Gang that helped SSC candidates ‘cheat’ busted in Delhi, 4 arrested

The arrests come in the wake of a series of protests in recent weeks by students alleging that SSC question papers had been leaked.

delhi Updated: Mar 28, 2018 23:55 IST
delhi,ssc,ssc test
The gang members.

Four men have been arrested from north Delhi for helping Staff Selection Commission (SSC) candidates cheat by taking remote access of their computers, the police said on Wednesday.

The arrests come in the wake of a series of protests in recent weeks by students alleging that SSC question papers had been leaked.

Police said that the accused mainly relied on Team Viewer and AMMYY software that allows a user to take control of a computer remotely. Where they couldn’t use the remote access system, they provided answers through Local Area Network (LAN) that allows interconnection of computers within a limited area, said police.

Jatin Narwal, deputy commissioner of police (north) said that the gang charged Rs 5-10 lakh for solving SSC questions for posts such as lower divisional clerk, junior secretariat assistant and data entry operators. “We recovered Rs 51.8 lakh in cash from the flat in Gandhi Vihar that we raided,” said Narwal.

The raid on Tuesday was conducted jointly by the special staff of north Delhi district police and the Uttar Pradesh-Special Task Force.

Delhi Police said they were on the trail of the gang for some days and it was the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force that provided them a tip-off about the location of the accused.

The SSC conducts its examination online, for which it outsources exam centres to private computer labs across the country. Some of these labs are owned by Harpal — who has been identified as the alleged kingpin — and other members of the gang, said Narwal. The SSC exam this year was conducted between March 4 and March 26 for which 63.5 lakh candidates had applied.

“This gang is suspected to have links with many other computer labs that made cheating feasible on a large scale. This couldn’t be possible without the help of insiders,” said an investigator.

“The gang first identified their customers. They then remotely accessed the candidate’s computer through Team Viewer and AMMYY software or through LAN,” said Abhishek Singh, senior superintendent of police (UP-STF).

Staff Selection Commission works under the department of personnel and training and recruits staff in various government positions through competitive exams.

Though the probe into the cheating was in its early stages, an STF officer said nearly 180 candidates have benefited from the racket.

Four persons have been arrested so far with police having launched a manhunt for Harpal. The investigator said it is likely that the gang was taking help of dozens of people to solve the papers.

“When we raided the flat, there were four men inside working on three laptops. On spotting us, they tried to log out of Team Viewer and shut down the laptops. We recovered a lot of incriminating evidence in the form of laptops, 10 mobile phones and papers with names and roll numbers of candidates,” said Narwal.

The flat from which the four men were arrested belongs to Harpal, police said. “The gang has rented many more flats in Gandhi Vihar from where the question papers would be solved,” said the UP Police.

A case of cheating and criminal conspiracy and under seections of the IT Act has been registered at Timarpur police station in north Delhi.

First Published: Mar 28, 2018 23:55 IST