Karnataka PSI scam: ED searches premises of jailed IPS officer, others

The ED on Friday said it has searched the premises of jailed IPS officer Amrit Paul, some government officials and private persons in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the police sub-inspector recruitment “scam” in Karnataka in 2021.

The federal investigative agency said the operation, undertaken on Thursday at 11 premises in Bengaluru and Patiala in Punjab, led to the “discovery and seizure of various incriminating records and electronic gadgets.”

The residential premises of Paul were also covered, it said.

READ | Another police officer held in Karnataka PSI scam

The alleged scam pertains to the Karnataka Police recruitment cell conducting an examination last year for filling up 545 vacancies of sub-inspectors in the state police department.

“After the results were out, there were allegations of cheating, corrupt practices in the said examination, due to which the Karnataka government ordered an investigation into the matter,” the Enforcement Directorate said.

The probe was taken over by the CID wing of the Bengaluru Police which became the basis for the ED complaint that was registered under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Various FIRs were filed by the police against candidates, middlemen and police officials in Bengaluru and Kalaburagi.

The police later conducted searches at various premises and arrested Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Paul and more than 100 people, including aspirants who allegedly paid money to get selected, in this case.

Paul was the head of the police recruitment cell, as its additional director general (recruitment), when the alleged irregularities took place.

READ | ED seeks Bengaluru court permit to quiz 5 accused in PSI scam

“During CID investigation, it was observed that there was tampering of OMR sheets in the strong room of the recruitment cell at CID headquarters, Carlton House, Bengaluru.

“Police officers, in-charge of the strong room of recruitment cell, switched off the CCTV cameras and two armed head constables entered the strong room and tampered with the OMR sheet. The police officials collected money from candidates for facilitating their selection using illegal means,” the agency said.

The police sub-inspector recruitment drive started in October 2021 to fill 545 posts and 54,041 people wrote the exam.

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