The Habour police have arrested three persons on the charge of impersonation during an examination held in the Mercantile Marine Department under the Ministry of Shipping, at Willingdon Island on Friday.
The arrested are Vivek Kumar and Amardeep from Bihar and Jithendra Kumar from Uttar Pradesh, while Abhay Tiwari, also from UP, managed to escape the police net. Vivek Kumar and Amardeep were supposed to appear for the paper on Celestial Navigation but instead Jithendra Kumar and Abhay Tiwari impersonated for them respectively and entered the exam hall by forging the admission cards, according to the police. It was a national-level exam for recruitment to various posts in mercantile ships.
“The fraud came to light after the invigilator grew suspicious of the admission card of Jithendra Kumar and alerted the police. We picked him up from the exam hall and brought to the station where a verification proved it to be a case of impersonation,” said T.G. Rajesh, Sub Inspector, Harbour station. The police also picked up Vivek Kumar and Amardeep who were waiting outside the exam hall.
At that point of time, however, neither the invigilator nor the police were aware of a second instance of impersonation under way. The presence of a second impersonator was unearthed after the police searched a lodge where the accused were staying.
“During the search, we stumbled across evidence which revealed that another person was also involved. But by that time, he [Abhay Tiwari] had managed to flee,” said Mr. Rajesh.
While the accused said impersonation was fixed for ₹35,000, the police suspect it may run into lakhs. They are investigating whether a racket was involved since there were reports of a racket at work behind a similar incident of impersonation reported from Chennai some time ago. “We are not sure whether the same racket was behind the incident here. But there is a possibility of the racket shifting its operations to Kerala after they were exposed in Chennai. It is learnt that the racket also involved residents of Bihar and UP.”
The police have registered a case under IPC Section 419 (cheating by impersonation) and 465 (forgery). They are now planning to expand the inquiry to UP as well to garner details about the crime.
Both the accused were produced in court and remanded.