MDCAT scam: Network busted behind high-tech cheating

CCPO says 74 candidates of test arrested, 19 cases registered

Peshawar   -  A network behind the Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) has been busted and 74 students were also arrested for high-tech cheating in the exam, Capital City Police Officer Syed Ashfaq Anwar said on Friday.

The mastermind of the scam was Zafar Khattak while his gang members included Fahad, Fazal Subhan, Arshad Anwar, Fazal Wahab, and Aminullah – all of whom are well-educated.

Syed Ashfaq Anwar told a news conference that authorities received information about a network that facilitated real-time cheating through electronic devices during MDCAT conducted on September 10, 2023. He said the law-enforcement agencies launched operations across examination centres in the province.

Using electronic devices, they identified students involved in the cheating scheme. These students have been apprehended and charged with illegally passing the exam through electronic means. The CCPO said that consequently, 19 cases have been registered against the candidates in eight police stations in Peshawar. The students involved in the scandal employed advanced electronic devices to solve the papers in real-time. Confiscated items include mobile phones, microphones, smartwatches, and even bank checks, collectively valued at millions.

Initial investigations are ongoing, with electronic devices seized from the arrested individuals undergoing analysis by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Authorities are also scrutinising the contact information of students and examination staff.

The network orchestrating the cheating operated as a centralised system, enabling simultaneous exam paper solving for all candidates. Requests have been made to relevant agencies to investigate the software and methods used.

Similar operations have been conducted in various districts, leading to the arrest of network members. A total of 44 electronic devices, 4 microphones, 3 mobile phones, 1 smartwatch, and a bank check worth lakhs of rupees have been seized.

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