Anil Francis, the 150th accused in the paper leak scam, who was ‘convinced’ to fly down from Sharjah to India, had allegedly sold the papers for Rs. 17 lakh to one of the accused, Ameer Ahmed. Ameer is from Davanagere and owns a travel agency. The two connected on Facebook through a common friend last year.
As he was a security guard for the Udipi unit of Manipal Technologies, which prints question papers,he decided to earn a quick buck by selling the Karnataka Civil Police Constable written examination question papers to Ameer.
While he was on duty, he stole the question papers from the shredder room. He used the printing press’ photocopying machine and handed the copies over to Ameer near Manipal hospital mortuary a few days before the police constable recruitment exam on November 25.
Ameer passed on the question paper to prime accused Basavaraj C.T. for of Rs. 55 lakh. “Ameer deposited Rs. 25 lakh in a bank in Davanagere towards a home loan and invested the rest in a Kannada film, Half Boiled , which is yet to be released,” said Alok Kumar Additional Commissioner of Police.
Basavaraj distributed the question papers to his contacts who in turn charged each candidate Rs. 8 lakh. In total, the accused collected an advance amount of Rs. 1.19 crore from 117 candidates who approached them for question papers through the kingpin Shivakumaraiah, who had been arrested for his role in the 2016 II PU chemistry question paper leak scam.
Shivakumaraiah had held a ‘tutorial’ at a school in Doddakodali village, Madikeri district, on November 24 to pass on the papers. The police were tipped off and raided the place. They arrested 117 candidates, Shivakumaraiah, and his assistant Naveen.
Basavaraj, who was in the washroom at the time of the raid, managed to slip away.
The CCB recovered Rs. 67.7 lakh, 98 photocopies of police constables question papers, 138 hall tickets of candidates, 35 original documents of candidates, 36 mobile phones, 17 vehicles, two printers, a laptop and a tab from the accused.
The exam was rescheduled, but during the investigation, the police learned that the accused were also involved in leaking the BMTC recruitment question paper, Alok Kumar said.
Basavaraj took over the operation after Shivakumaraiah was arrested. He managed to obtain anticipatory bail. But instead of appearing before the CCB, he went underground. According to the police, he was planning to get his hands on the PSI question papers before surrendering. His plan was thwarted by a series of raids carried out by the CCB.
"As all the question papers that were printed at the press in Manipal had been leaked, we have asked the management to conduct a security audit and also upgrade their security checks," Alok Kumar said. He added that the management will also be questioned and action would be taken if any discrepancies are found.