Cheating with cameras and mobiles

National

There were at least seven of them, women allegedly posing as candidates for a medical exam, and equipped with cameras, phones and Bluetooth devices to transmit the questions to accomplices in nearby hotels. These accomplices were to route the images of the questions to "experts" in Patna and Hyderabad, who would send the answers back to the middlemen, who would then dictate these to 20 real candidates at various centres.

The CBI has so far arrested 16 people, eight of them women including the seven dummy candidates, and unearthed the innovative use of technology to cheat in the post-doctoral MD/MS degree entrance examination conducted by the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh.

The CBI raided 11 centres on November 10 following a tip-off, and arrested the seven alleged impersonators from four of the centres. Officers said the women were wearing specially tailored clothes fitted with the devices; even their undergarments had wires stitched in. One of the women, C Namitha, who had a hearing device plugged in her ear, had to undergo a surgical procedure at PGIMER to remove the device, which had got stuck in her auditory canal.

The CBI said the plan was to transmit the photographed questions by cellphone to Gurivi Reddy, the alleged mastermind coordinating the exercise from a hotel room. Reddy had been arrested in June 2010, too, when the Andhra Pradesh police found him and two others trying to leak the answers of the Engineering, Agriculture and Medical Common Entrance Test conducted by JN Technological University Hyderabad. He had since got bail.

Reddy reportedly claims to be an MBBS graduate from Hyderabad. "We are checking documents to ascertain this," said CBI deputy inspector general Mahesh Aggarwal.

None of the seven women arrested from the centres, however, has any background in medicine. "They are graduate students in various Andhra Pradesh colleges," Aggarwal said. "These seven were probably back-ups for each other so that if one failed to leak the paper, another would do it."

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