Balangir: The Balangir police have busted a fake certificate racket operating for the last several years with the arrest of 19 people including the owner of a local private coaching centre.
Balangir Superintendent of Police Nitin Kusalkar told media here Monday that the police have seized stamps of nearly 27 responsible officials, seals of 47 educational institutions including universities, computers, hard discs, cash and mobile phones.
The signatures of Board Presidents of Secretaries of several state school boards and some officials used fraudulently by the racket were also seized during the investigation.
The SP said the owner of the coaching centre identified as Manoj Mishra, the mastermind of the big network of issuing fake certificates having network in pan Odisha and neighbouring states, has been arrested.
The Police Monday paraded all the 19 accused arrested in the fake certificate racket before the newsmen here.
The SP said the racket was going on for the last several years and a big chain is involved in the racket. Besides the owner of the coaching centre, the police also arrested Alok Udghata who was directly handling the fake certificate racket. The police also seized thousands of fake certificates during the raid in the last two days.
He said six to seven middlemen were also involved in the racket but refused to divulge their names as the investigation is on.
The SP said the prime accused Manoj Mishra, the owner of the coaching centre, had connections with the employees of all 47 educational institutions.
He said for issuing the fake certificate they were charging Rs.1.5 lakh to as high as Rs.5 lakh.
The SP said, police also seized at least six land records which he claimed were the proceeds of the crime.
Kusalkar said a special team has been constituted and hinted that some more people involved in the racket will be arrested soon.
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