Mehsana police has begun a probe to unearth a racket in which ineligible students are acquiring high International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores to obtain admission in Canadian colleges so they can be smuggled into the United States. The probe is being conducted at the request of American authorities, officials said.
“These six Indian nationals from Gujarat, in the 19-21 age group, were apprehended from a sinking boat in the Saint Regis river in Akwesasne, US, close to the Canadian border. Four are from Mehsana, and two are from Gandhinagar and Patan,” according to Inspector Bhavesh Rathod of the Mehsana police’s Special Operations Group (SOG).
Mehsana police’s SOG is leading the investigation in the case. The four students have been identified as Dhruv Patel, Neel Patel, Urvish Patel and Savan Patel who appeared for the exam in Navsari on September 25, 2021.
After this, they went to Canada on student visas on March 19, almost two weeks before they got caught at the US-Canada border.
Rathod added that they failed to answer the questions in English before a US court, due to which the court had to take the help of a Hindi translator. According to the police, the court was “baffled as these students had scored 6.5 to 7 bands in IELTS, an English proficiency test.”
The matter came to light after US border authorities arrested 6 youngsters from Gujarat during a failed attempt to gain unauthorized entry into the country via Canada.
The investigation into the matter has revealed that the agency which took the exam maintained no transparency. CCTV cameras were also turned off during the IELTS exam held in September this year, Rathod further told news agency PTI.
He noted, “The manager of the banquet hall in Navsari, which was hired for the exam, said the exam supervisors had turned off CCTV cameras before the exam. This proves there was no transparency and something was definitely suspicious. The agency which was authorized to conduct the exam is based in Ahmedabad.”
IELTS is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.
(With agency inputs)