Desperate to crack a tough exam for a government job, a man in India removed a patch of skin from his thumb and pasted it on his friend's finger in hopes that the latter will hoodwink the biometric scan and crack the exam on his behalf.

Both the student and his proxy were taken into custody.

The incident occurred on Aug. 22 in Vadodara city, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, during a recruitment exam for the Indian Railways, NDTV reported.

The accused, identified as Manish Kumar, peeled off his skin using a hot pan and pasted it onto his accomplice, Rajyaguru Gupta's finger, to try and fool officials.

"To prevent cheating (through impersonation), all the candidates were required to give their thumb impression, which was matched with their Aadhaar data through a biometric device," a police official, S.M. Varotariya told the outlet.

When the person who identified himself as Manish Kumar gave his thumb impression, the biometric device failed to verify his identity multiple times. This is when an eagle-eyed supervisor, who noticed the man's suspicious behavior, sprayed some sanitizer on his hand. It caused the transplanted skin to fall off.

Kumar and his proxy, Gupta, both from Munger district in the state of Bihar, were arrested Wednesday for allegedly cheating, Varotariya told Indiatimes.

Gupta confessed details of the shoddy plan during police interrogation.

"A day before the test, Kumar put his left thumb on a hot cooking pan, which created a blister. He then removed the skin using a blade and pasted it on Gupta's left thumb as he knew there would be biometric verification before the test," the official continued.

"When the supervisor sprayed sanitizer on his left thumb, the skin that was pasted on it came off," the police officer said. "The skin and ridges on the fingerprint are made up of protein. These ridges get defaced when a blister is formed due to excessive burning. So even if someone tries to paste such a piece of skin on another person's thumb, the biometric machine will never recognize it as the skin would have lost its original structure."

Thumb impression
Thumb impression