Hunt on for kingpin of IELTS exam racket

November 9th, 2009 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Patiala (Punjab), Nov 9 (IANS) Searches were conducted at various places in Punjab and Haryana to arrest the kingpin of a multi-million Rupee racket in the global online English proficiency test exposed Saturday, police said Monday.
Three employees of British Council, Britain’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities that conducts the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, and four youths, including two girls, who were appearing in the exam in place of other candidates, were arrested in this Punjab town.

The IELTS is mandatory for pursuing studies in English-speaking countries like the US, Canada, Britain and Australia.

“During the interrogation of the accused, we have got some vital clues. Police teams have been sent to conduct raids in Punjab and Haryana to arrest the kingpin of this gang,” district police chief Ranbir Singh Khatra told IANS here Monday.

Patiala is 70 km from state capital Chandigarh.

“There is a possibility of involvement of more employees of British Council in this racket. As per our information, the kingpin is a woman who is operating from a Haryana town, where she runs an IELTS coaching institute,” he said.

The arrested British Council employees were identified as Anil Kumar, Neeraj Kumar and Saurav Goyal (all from Chandigarh), whereas another suspected employee managed to flee from the spot.

Two agencies, Australia-based IDP and the British Council conduct this exam in India. The exam fee is Rs.8,500 and its score is valid for two years.

“A big gang is working behind this racket. They used to charge Rs.400,000-500,000 from their clients and give Rs.3,000-4000 to the impersonators,” said a police official.

Every week up to 800 students in Punjab sit for IELTS exam.

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