Andhra police bust nationwide fake certificate racket, seven arrested

South India

A special investigation being is set up to probe the case further. 

The Andhra Pradesh police have busted a fake certificate racket being run from Prakasam district for the last two years and arrested seven people for issuing certificates for up to 500 courses under 'JNTC' name, mimicking a reputed technical university.

"We busted a nationwide operation which was being conducted through a front called Jawaharlal Nehru Technical Centre (JNTC), obviously made with an intent to confuse it with Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University (JNTU)," Prakasam district Superintendent of Police (SP) Siddarth Kaushal was quoted by IANS as saying.

The arrested seven are Jampani Venkateshwarlu (49), Silarapu Bala Srinivasa Rao (53), Silarapu Sujatha (47), Siddi Srinivas Reddy (25), Koduri Pradeep Kumar (32), Anaparthi Christopher (47) and Batta Potula Venkatshwarlu (48).

Cases have been registered against for cheating, forgery, using forged documents, falling under Sections 420, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Using JNTC as a front, the accused were operating in 11 states across the country.

Police got information about the racket when they went for a regular stock checking of a fertilizer shop, which needs an agriculture diploma to run. “The person running the shop seemed a little suspicious and when we verified everything, we found out that his diploma was fake. When we started digging deeper, we found a whole racket," Kaushal said.

He said that the arrested seven are the masterminds of the racket who engaged several local accomplices to sell the fake certificates at any unfixed price, starting as low as Rs 2,000 to up to Rs 80,000, depending on the desperation and affordability of a buyer.

The main accused person in this case is the son of a former Air Force employee who smelled an opportunity when he worked in a fire and safety training field in Kerala. The racket had not spared critical sectors such as aviation and medical.

"They were issuing fake certificates in almost every field of study and on the ground there is nothing. We catalogued almost 500 kinds of certificates they were issuing. From three-month courses to 3-year degrees," Kaushal said adding that the racket had operated through 155 conduits in Andhra Pradesh alone, operating under the guise of a computer training institute or a similar setup which serves as a front to give any kind of certificate.

Certificates were issued in disciplines such as management, hospitality, even critical sectors like healthcare, aviation, fire and safety and others. Until now, police were able to establish the paper trail for almost 2,400 odd certificates issued across 11 states which is likely to rise.

Police have alerted the people against using the fake certificates for job, higher studies or other purposes. To further trace each and everyone involved in the racket, police have listed out all the certificates and JNTC branches and alerted the respective district police.

Though the racket is busted, Kushal fears that many people would have already misused these fake certificates to their benefit. A special investigation team is being set up to probe the case further (with inputs from IANS)

Image Credit: News Minute

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