The gangs that had been leaking questions of public exams and government recruitment tests included government officials, schoolteachers, printing press employees and Dhaka University students.
Two major rackets have been busted with the arrest of 46 members and ringleaders in the last one and a half years, the Criminal Investigation Department of police said yesterday.
“We have come to know that they have amassed around Tk 30 crore by leaking question papers of different public examinations through digital devices and from the printing presses,” Molla Nazrul Islam, special superintendent of CID, told a press conference at the CID headquarters.
“All the arrestees have confessed to their crimes before courts,” he said.
However, most of them are on bail now.
In the investigation that took 16 months, the CID found that the questions were mainly leaked in two ways: from the printing press on the night before the exams and through digital devices minutes before the exams started.
The CID has made a list of over 100 Dhaka University students who passed the admission tests through the help of these gangs, Nazrul said.
Police tracked down the gang members following a series of arrests since October 2017 when investigators raided two dormitories of Dhaka University hours before the Gha unit admission test.
Over the last one month, the CID arrested nine suspected leakers including three students of Dhaka University and one of privately-run Green University.
The arrested leaders of the gangs include four government officials.
In the last four or five years, these organised gangs struck deals with government job and public university admission seekers in exchange for hefty sums, and helped many to cheat their way into universities and government posts.
Alip Kumar Biswas, a suspended assistant director of Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishthan (BKSP), is the suspected mastermind of the gang that used to leak university admission and government recruitment questions through digital devices minutes before the exams.
Several unscrupulous schoolteachers and office assistants used to provide this gang with the question papers minutes before the exams started.
Other members then solved the questions at a suitable place and sent the answers to examinees who had made deals with the gang beforehand.
The job or admission seekers were provided with the answers via tiny ear-pieces within a few minutes into the exams.
The devices were supplied by the gang.
Each candidate used to give between Tk 4 lakh and 7 lakh, according to investigators.
There were designated people to find job and admission seekers who would pay for leaked questions, he said.
Investigators found that Alip, the gang leader, earned about Tk 2-3 crore by doing this.
A former Dhaka College student Asim Biswas, who has been arrested recently, had brought about a hundred digital communication devices from Mumbai, investigators said.
Besides Alip, the CID arrested five masterminds of the gang since last August.
They are, Janata Bank Senior Officer Hafizur Rahman Hafiz, Assistant Administrative Officer of Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation Mostafa Kamal, businessman Masudur Rahman Tajul, and two government job seekers Ibrahim Mollah and Ayub Ali Badhan.
The five suspects earned about Tk 20 crore. In Hafizur's bank account, officers found “unusual transactions” of Tk 10 crore.
Ibrahim, who is from a poor family, owns a car worth Tk 36 lakh and a four-storey building in Khulna city, a duplex in Narail town and a money exchange business, they said.
Molla Nazrul said the CID would seek a court order to seize the wealth of the suspects.
Two schoolteachers and office assistants were arrested in last August. Hasmat Ali Shikder, an office assistant of Dhanmondi Government Boys School was caught with two copies of the BCS English written question paper and Tk 60,000 during the exam.
Some of the 46 arrestees include 21 DU students. Of them, six are members of the gangs and 15 are students who cheated their ways into the university. DU authorities had expelled them later.
The other gang that used to leak questions hours before the exams was led by Natore District Sports Officer Rakibul Hasan, Nazrul said.
This gang leaked the questions from a printing press in the capital's Indira Road from where the DU's Gha unit admission test papers were printed.
Press employee Khan Bahadur and his friend Saiful Islam used to provide this gang with the question papers.
The CID official said that Rakibul and Saiful used to live in a rented a room in Uttara in 2015.
After learning that Bahadur worked at the printing press, Rakibul, then a college teacher in Uttara, requested Saiful to help him get the question paper for his brother, who was seeking admission to DU that year. Later, they devised a scheme to make money by leaking questions, investigators said.