Those arrested in the scam, seen with Thane Crime Branch officials
Those arrested in the scam, seen with Thane Crime Branch officials

The Thane Crime Branch raided three different places in Nagpur, Goa and Pune, and busted the army recruitment racket. Around 21 accused were arrested and produced in Thane court, and remanded to police custody till March 4. Three more accused are involved in the racket that includes two armymen and a civilian, who are yet to be arrested. Around 350 aspirants were asked to be present whenever required.

Also read: How Thane cops busted army exam paper leak scam

The racket was busted after Ajay Ghosalkar, Assistant PI, and Vijay Upale, police sub-inspector with the Anti-Narcotics Cell of Thane Crime Branch, were approached by the owner of an Army coaching classes in Thane. The owner informed them that a few agents were luring aspirants saying they will pass, if they can pay for it.

The information was given to Bharat Shelke, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Thane Crime Branch. "Our sources shared with us some videos related to the scam and we were shocked. We had decide in a day and accordingly we formed three teams and left for Nagpur, Goa and Pune on February 24," said Parag Manare, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Thane crime branch.

Modus operandi
Manare added that it was found that the aspirants pay around R4 lakh. "Every state has its own army recruitment exams, so if a Mumbaikar is not eligible for it, the agents prepared a fake domicile certificate with an address either from Nagpur, or Pune, or Goa.

They used to keep the original documents of the aspirants with them. After making the certificates, they also helped them with the exams. After the medical test is done and the aspirant is selected, he needs the original documents. Then the agents demanded cash again. The candidate then had to pay," added Manare.

"We were informed that halls and lodges were made available for the aspirants, where the accused received the question papers on his phone's WhatsApp. He would explain them the answers and within three hours, they would prepare for the exams," added an official.

Army to probe too
Parambir Singh, CP, Thane said, "It was a huge racket that we busted. We suspect it might have been going on from past few years and have also informed the Army."

A PRO from a Nagpur Army unit said he cannot comment on the issue. "We are aware of the raids and there will be re-exams soon. At the same time the inquiry will be conducted and investigation report will be released by the head quarters based in Delhi."

An internal inquiry is being conducted by the Southern command in Pune.

A case has been registered at Kalwa police station under relevant sections.