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JEE tampering case: Russian hacker sent to additional 3-day CBI custody for interrogation

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A local court in the national capital granted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) additional custody of three more days to interrogate a Russian hacker, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in manipulation of online system in last year’s Joint Entrance Examination, the entrance exam for admission to top engineering colleges of the country, including the IITs.

Seeking additional custody of three days before the Rouse Avenue Court, the national agency contended that it needed more time to confront accused Mikhail Shargin with certain data, besides dealing with the language barrier.

As per the agency, Shargin allegedly aided 820 students to cheat during the JEE Mains exam, which was taken by over nine lakh students in September, 2021.
CBI said Shargin hacked into the system and gave the students ‘remote access’ to his associates, who then solved the question papers on computers elsewhere.

In other words, teachers or coaches outside the centres were able to access the students’ computers and solve their questions as well.

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CBI had arrested Russian national Shargin on October 3, after he landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on arrival from Kazakhstan’s Almaty. He was intercepted by the immigration officials at the airport on the basis of a look-out circular issued against him.

On September 1 last year, the national agency had registered a case against Affinity Education Private Limited, its directors, employees and others for allegedly helping the candidates secure admission in top National Institutes of Technology by solving the question paper through remote access from an examination centre in Haryana’s Sonipat district.

The accused would collect the original Class X and XII mark-sheets of willing candidates, their user IDs and passwords and post-dated cheques as security. On confirmation of admissions, they would collect money ranging from Rs 12 lakh to Rs 15 lakh per candidate as commission.

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The agency had conducted searches in the national capital region, Pune, Jamshedpur, Indore and Bengaluru last year, which led to seizure of 25 laptops, seven personal computers, 30 post-dated cheques and huge stash of documents.

CBI has so far arrested 24 persons, including two directors and four employees of Affinity Education, in connection with the case.

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