BENGALURU: Central Crime Branch (CCB), which recently unearthed one of the biggest fake marks card scams in the country, is not in a position to investigate it further, all thanks to shortage of staff.
Though CCB has seven specialised wings, the average number of personnel in each wing is less than nine.
“Many beneficiaries of this scam are working with reputed institutions, including government agencies. The kingpin Sandesh Agarwal ran a firm named Double Eight Consultancy and allegedly had around 120 agents across the country. We need to go to various states to investigate the case further, but that is not possible because of staff crunch,” said sources.
There are 148 sanctioned posts in CCB after it was brought down from 232 a year ago. But only 85 are filled.
Of 85 CCB personnel, CCRB personnel and those holding other administrative posts are also included. And as many as 50 personnel are on the field, including ACPs and inspectors. This is less in view of the increasing number of crimes in the city.
“We require at least 20 police constables for each wing of CCB to smoothen our workflow. Investigating the cases properly, attending courts and keeping a tab on happenings in the city together is humanly impossible for such a small team,” said a CCB sleuth.
A senior cop added: “Earlier, CCB was known for unearthing big scams. They also kept a constant eye on the underworld and major crime gangs in Bengaluru. But with shortage of personnel, they now only conduct raids on illegal hookah bars and gambling dens.”
CCB officials said that they are still busy attending trials of 800 cases in court and 152 cases are not investigated due to staff crunch.
When contacted, City Police Commissioner Praveen Sood said, “CCB is an important wing for Bengaluru City Police. The recruitment process has been initiated at government level and within few days, the issue of staff shortage will be addressed.”
Recently, CCB had arrested five people and busted a huge gang spread across the country in connection with a fake marks card scam. Sandesh Agarwal, Deepankar Sen, Kunal Kumar Mondal, Sourav Kumar Sharma alias Gourav Kumar and Aruna were arrested.
Police said the accused had issued nearly 1.60 lakh fake marks cards of various universities. About 400 people, who got government and corporate jobs in Karnataka on the basis of these fake certificates were also identified.