Police in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have arrested a group of highly educated individuals, including senior academics and accomplices, involved in a cheating scandal in medical colleges.

According to the initial report of the investigation team, the group allegedly influenced the outcome of the entrance exam by facilitating students’ cheating using Bluetooth devices.

The police operation, conducted in various districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Peshawar, resulted in the recovery of 44 electronic devices, four microphones, three mobile phones, a smartwatch, and a bank check worth thousands of rupees from the arrested individuals.

The entrance exam for medical colleges was held on September 10th in 44 examination centers across the province, with nearly 46,000 students participating. Prior to the exam, the Chief Secretary and other high-ranking officials had been informed that there was a large-scale cheating scheme in place, leading to a thorough investigation. More than 200 Bluetooth devices were seized at examination centers. FIRs (First Information Reports) have been filed against the students, and they have been handed over to the police.

In a joint press conference on Friday, Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Syed Ashfaq Anwar and Regional Police Officer (RPO) Kohat Sher Akbar Khan revealed that the initial investigation has identified two government employees, who are brothers and apparently the masterminds of the network.

CCPO Anwar disclosed that the police have recovered Bluetooth devices from the suspects and have contacted federal investigative agencies to determine how the suspects acquired these devices and how they were used.

RPO Khan mentioned that as soon as they received the information, they took immediate action and placed nine individuals under custody to initiate the investigation.

“At first, it appeared to be a case of copying, but as the investigation progressed, many things came to light, and it seems like a large network is involved,” he said.

According to the police, the investigation has also revealed that the members of the arrested network were in contact to solve papers simultaneously using a centralized system for multiple candidates.

The police have requested information from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) regarding the investigation into this software and method. They have also sent written correspondence to relevant agencies for information on the IP addresses associated with the devices found in possession of the students, which were connected to a server.

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