Continuing investigation of the COMEDK seat blocking scam, the Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths on Tuesday arrested seven more persons, including the kingpin Ajit Mondal, who was allegedly running the racket with his associate, Priyadarshan alias Prince, for the past several years.

The arrested included five students. This takes the number of persons taken into custody to 35.

The scam came to light on Sunday when Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel at the Kempegowda International Airport detained 28 students when they were trying to flee to their respective States after attending COMEDK entrance exam earlier in the day.

The students, from Bihar and Jharkhand, studying medicine in colleges across the country, were arrested after CISF personnel questioned three of them waiting at the airport.

When the three did not give convincing replies, the CISF personnel asked them to produce their identity cards.

The details on these cards did not match their claims of age and name. While subjected to detailed questioning, the students spilled the beans.

The CCB then raided a lodge in the Majestic area and arrested Ajit Mondal, Priyadarshan and the five students.

While Priyadarshan was arranging students from northern States to write exams, Ajit Mondal financed the scam, Joint Commissioner of Police Hemanth Nimbalkar said.

According to him, the two confessed that they were involved in the last year’s scam too.

Explaining the modus operandi, Mr. Nimbalkar said that the students would write the exam and score good marks to secure seats at reputed colleges in and around the State. They would get admission by paying the fee, but would withdraw at the last hour, to help the management make use of the vacant seat.

COMEDK stand

COMEDK Chief Executive A.S. Srikanth has said that the consortium was extending “full cooperation” to the investigating agency. “We would like to help break this lobby; we would want feedback on the modus operandi of impersonation so that we can develop strategies to break it,” he said.