Peshawar: Capital City Police, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, have made significant progress in uncovering a cheating scandal involving a network of individuals during the ETEA MDCAT 2023 (Educational Testing and Evaluation Agency Medical and Dental College Admission Test). They have exposed and apprehended all suspects involved in this elaborate scheme, including the mastermind, Zafar Khattak.
Additionally, in this massive operation, highly educated and trained individuals, including postgraduate degree holders, have also been arrested. The suspects were involved in facilitating cheating by providing electronic devices and answers to examination questions during the ETEA MDCAT 2023.
During the operation, a large number of electronic devices were seized from the suspects. These devices will undergo forensic examination by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Furthermore, the call records of both the arrested students and educational testing staff are currently under scrutiny.
It was revealed during the initial investigations that those involved in the cheating scandal had set high prices, exceeding 20 lakhs rupees per case, to provide devices and assistance during the test. The police are conducting further investigations into this scandal, with over 200 FIRs (First Information Reports) registered so far.
Interestingly, the main suspect, known as Master Mind, had a history of being dismissed from the Public Service Commission due to similar actions and had been arrested multiple times in the past.
The ETEA MDCAT 2023 examination, held on September 10, 2023, was organized by ETEA across various districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The police and other law enforcement agencies received information that a large-scale scheme involving cellular devices was in operation, enabling candidates to transmit exam questions and receive answers during the test.
Upon receiving this information, the police and relevant authorities took immediate action. They conducted surprise raids at examination centers across the province, deploying examination staff and police to monitor candidates during the test. Consequently, they arrested 74 candidates who were involved in cheating. Nineteen cases were registered in eight police stations in Peshawar against these candidates, and legal proceedings have been initiated against them.
The joint efforts of Capital City Police and Kohat Police also led to the identification and apprehension of key individuals in the cheating network, including the central mastermind, Zafar Khattak, and his associates. The suspects were involved in orchestrating a sophisticated network, which operated across multiple locations.
During the inspection, it was discovered that the network members were using a centralized system that allowed all candidates to have simultaneous access to answers to examination questions. This sophisticated setup raised significant concerns about the integrity of the ETEA MDCAT 2023.
In addition to Peshawar, police operations were conducted in various districts of the province. It was revealed that through the use of Bluetooth devices, candidates and students at examination centers across the province were involved in cheating.
The arrested individuals are currently facing legal action, and their electronic devices will undergo detailed forensic analysis. The authorities are determined to bring all those involved in the cheating scandal to justice.
As a result of these revelations, the Khyber Medical University (KMU) has adopted a “zero tolerance policy” regarding the use of electronic devices by candidates within examination centers. Stringent security measures have been implemented, including multiple phases of security checks and the use of metal detectors to prevent cheating during examinations.
Furthermore, KMU has stated that candidates found involved in cheating will have their examination papers invalidated, and they will be barred from taking any ETEA test for the next two years. These measures have been put in place to maintain the integrity of the examination process and ensure that candidates are evaluated fairly based on their knowledge and abilities.