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“Gang Arrested for Conducting Sham Duolingo Test for College Admissions in Ireland, Linked to Extortion Scheme”

Hyderabad: Authorities have apprehended a seven-member syndicate engaged in fraudulent activities, fabricating Duolingo English test results for admission to prestigious universities in Ireland. The Special Operation Team of LB Nagar Zone, in collaboration with Hayathnagar Police, orchestrated the arrests. Duolingo, an approved alternative to the IELTS test, is recognized by 60 educational institutions in Ireland, including esteemed universities such as Dublin Business School, Trinity College Dublin, and University College Cork. Despite the scale of the operation, law enforcement officials claim no prior knowledge of the illicit activities or the existence of the fraudulent network.

Acting on intelligence, the Crime Squad conducted a raid, culminating in the apprehension of three suspects from a lodge in Hayatnagar. Subsequent interrogations revealed the falsified nature of the Duolingo tests.

The modus operandi involved charging two hundred euros per candidate with a promise of guaranteed success. The operation ensnared four candidates, the proxy test-taker, and two facilitators. The Duolingo test assesses proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening in English.

The accused include Kandakatla Praveen Reddy (22), a computer science student who impersonated other candidates; Trivedi Harinath (21) and Banala Krishna (21), business administration and commerce students, respectively, who acted as middlemen. Engineering students Idavalli Aravind Reddy (21), Nenavat Santhosh (21), Alakuntla Vinay (22), and computer science student Malladi Naveen Kumar (26) were also implicated in the scheme.

During the raid, authorities seized five laptops, four passports, and seven mobile phones. A case has been registered under Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.

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