Crime
Merit Wise Consultancy allegedly promised aspirants seats in reputed medical, dental and engineering colleges for a ‘nominal’ fee.

The Bengaluru police have arrested a 11-member gang for allegedly duping engineering, MBBS and dental course aspirants with the pretext of providing them seats in reputed colleges.

The Central Crime Branch sleuths arrested Snehil, Pavan Kumar, Nishanth, Kunal Kumar Singh, Muneesh, Nitin, Tinku Mandal, Koushal Kumar, Seeju Daniel, Rahul Singh and Ankit Kumar Singh on Sunday. Investigators say that the accused had started a consultancy service named Merit Wise Consultancy in Bengaluru’s Jayanagar area and allegedly falsely advertised that they could get admissions for students into reputed medical colleges.

CCB sleuths told TNM that Merit Wise Consultancy allegedly procured information about engineering, MBBS and BDS (Bachelor of Dental Sciences) aspirants from various coaching classes in Bengaluru and other major metro cities.

“Once they got the list of names and contact numbers, they got in touch with these students and their parents. They advertised by saying that they could get the students admitted to any medical college of their choice for a nominal fee,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sandeep Patil told TNM.

Investigators say that the accused allegedly charged Rs 1 lakh per student. When the students and their parents called Merit Wise Consultancy after making the payment, they allegedly kept pushing the date, stating that the admission process would take longer as they were going through the management quota.

“They kept giving one excuse or another. We received a petition from one such student and his parents, who had paid money. We raided the office and found a DD of Rs 1 lakh, which was written in the name of a private medical college, Rs 1.8 lakh cash, 11 mobile phones and a car,” Sandeep Patil added.

Investigating officers say that many such consultancy services have mushroomed in the city and they hope for more victims to come forwards and file a complaint. “We don’t know how much money they have taken yet. We are hoping that more people come forwards and report such incidents. It is not just Merit Wise but other such firms are also duping aspirants,” Sandeep Patil said.

The investigators are also probing to see whether managements of colleges were involved in the racket. Joint Commissioner Sandeep said that the accused have confessed to the involvement of certain colleges in Bengaluru. “We have to verify their claims first. We will produce them before the magistrate today (Monday) and seek police custody as we have to probe the matter thoroughly,” he added.

A case has been registered under section 420 (cheating), 405 (criminal breach of trust) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.