Rajkot: Homemaker among three held for ‘forging’ university certificates

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A visa consultant, a homemaker and a jeweller were arrested by the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Rajkot city police on Saturday for allegedly forging university degrees and selling them to those aspiring to settle abroad.

The SOG arrested Dharmishtha Makadiya (35), a homemaker who resides in Sadhu Vasvani Road, and Paras Khajuriya (45), a visa consultant at a private firm in the city, for allegedly running separate rackets of forging degree certificates.

The SOG also arrested Vaibhav Patadiya (30), a city-based jeweller for possessing an alleged forged degree certificate provided by Khajuriya.

The trio was produced in a local court on Sunday. The court sent Makadiya and Khajuriya to the custody of SOG for a day and the jeweller to judicial custody.
Makadiya’s arrest comes five months after a team led by SOG police sub-inspector (PSI) Aslam Ansari detained Makadiya from near her residence on Sadhu Vasvani Road on July 8 on a tip-off. During the raid, police seized two degree certificates, suspected to be forged, from the storage box of her scooter.

The suspicious certificates bore stamps of William Care University (WCU), Shillong, Meghalaya. Police registered a non-cognisable offence against Makadiya at the Detection of Crime Branch police station at that time and released her.

“After seizing the mark-sheets from Makadiya, we wrote to WCU… The varsity replied recently, confirming the marksheets were not issued by it. Therefore, we filed a case against the homemaker and arrested her,” Ansari said.

The PSI said that Makadiya used to source forged marksheets and certificates of WCU from one Prakash Yadav of Delhi at the rate of Rs 25,000 a piece and supply them at Rs 35,000 a piece to those aspiring to settle abroad.

He added that Makadiya, who is a graduate, has confessed to have sold such certificates to one Malti Bhatt (42), a homemaker and one Maulik Dhaneshbhai — both residents of Rajkot.

“She used to sell forged certificates to those aspiring to settle in Canada saying that the university degrees would enhance their profile and earn them extra points in their applications seeking permanent residency (PR),” Ansari said, adding, “Nanded rural police had also booked Makadiya early this year for forging degree certificates.”

In the other offence, after being tipped that Khajuriya was running a racket of forging and selling forged markssheets and university degrees, SOG detained him from near Virani high school on November 16 and allegedly seized four forged degree certificates bearing seals of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BAU), Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

When approached by police for verification of the seized marksheets and degree certificates, BAU confirmed that they were not issued by it. Police said an FIR was registered against the visa consultant subsequently.

“Khajuriya works as a visa consultant with a private immigration consultancy in the city. He used to source forged marksheets and certificates from one Darshan Kotak, a resident of Vastral area of Ahmedabad, for Rs 50,000 to Rs 70,000 and sell them at Rs 70,000 to Rs 1 lakh to those aspiring to settle abroad,” Ansari said.

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