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CHENNAI: Investigators are probing if IPS trainee officer Safeer Karim, arrested by the Chennai police after IB sleuths caught him cheating in the UPSC (Main) Examination on October 30, had helped other candidates fraudulently clear the civil services examination.
A Chennai police team probing the case believe that Karim – who used bluetoothenabled earpieces, a miniature camera attached to a shirt button and a wireless modem to send images of the question paper to his wife Joicy Joy in Hyderabad and accomplices in Kerala — used the same modus operandi to help students of coaching centres he operated in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad pass the UPSC exams.
“We are checking Karim’s Google Drive account because he used it to transfer images the UPSC Mains question papers in Chennai and, earlier, those of the preliminary exam that he took in Madurai,” an investigating officer said.
Karim possibly used the same electronic devices, and Google’s cloud storage system, to help candidates from his institutes cheat their way through the UPSC exams and other competitive tests, the officer said.
“Karim’s institutes charged students large sums to help them prepare for and clear the UPSC exams,” he said. A part from Karim, police have so far arrested his wife, his associate P Rambabu, who operated La Excellence Coaching Centre in Hyderabad, and two other accomplices, Mohammed Shaheeb Khan and Samjad, who were in charge of the Tamil Nadu-cadre officer’s coaching centres in Kerala.
Investigators seized at least 11 cellphones, one tablet, a laptop, four hard disks and a pen drive from the arrested suspects, including Karim, and have sent them for tests to the forensic sciences lab in Mylapore. They expect the forensic lab analysis to show if the trainee IPS officer and his accomplices committed other fraudulent acts.
“It will be at least two weeks before the lab report is out,” the officer said. “It should reveal the breadth of Karim’s racket.”
Another officer investigating the case on Monday clarified that, contrary to earlier police statements, Karim did not carry a cellphone into the UPSC (Main) exam centre in Presidency Higher Secondary School for Girls, Egmore, when Intelligence Bureau sleuths caught him cheating a fortnight ago.
“Karim used a wireless modem with a range of 1.5km placed outside the test centre to transmit data to his wife and accomplices and not a cellphone,” the officer said, adding, “As police stated earlier, he carried into the centre a bluetooth-enabled miniature camera and earphones with the same wireless technology.”