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IELTS scam kingpin arrested

Police have arrested the kingpin of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scam, that had come to light on July 6, 2009,
when they had arrested three persons, including two boys and a girl in an impersonation case whereby they had superimposed their pictures on the passport for appearing on behalf of other candidates.

Notably, police had also arrested people from Jalandhar, Faridkot and Ludhiana in the same case, but Rajbir Singh, who was being considered as the main accused, was not arrested as he had managed to escape on July 6 and is absconding since then.

With Vishal Mehta’s arrest, police are claiming to have solved the case, saying the accused was the mastermind behind the scam. Assistant sub-inspector Tarsem said Mehta, who was arrested from Gurgaon on Saturday night, was ex-manager operations with Planet Education Company, looking after their operations in India and Nepal. The company had tied up with Australian embassy for conducting IELTS exams. It was here that he started taking money from aspirants for Australia for getting them to secure qualifying marks, charging them somewhere between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh. And for this, he used to contact people securing marks below the required cutoff, contacting them through fake email ids.

On a complaint from Australia that students being sent there did not seem to fit the bill, an inquiry was conducted by the company.

Vishal had left the company out of fear in September 2008 and joined Rajbir and a few other people, whereby they took to another modus operandi. Photographs were superimposed on passports of the aspirants so that impersonators could appear in their place, helping them secure good marks.

Source: TOI


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