Monday, June 11, 2007

HiTech Chinese exam cheaters caught red-handed

Chinese police have detained three people for running a high-tech
cheating scam involving wireless microphones during the national
college entrance exam, Xinhua news agency said Friday.

A record 10 million Chinese high-school students sat for the exam on
Thursday and Friday, competing for just 5.7 million university places.

The situation, make or break for students, has spawned a string of
cheating scandals in recent years.

Police in Jiutai, in the northeastern province of Jilin, became
suspicious when a minibus remained parked outside a school hosting the
exam on Thursday, Xinhua said.

Inside, they found three people, "two of them staring at a computer
screen and talking into a walkie-talkie," Xinhua said.

A student in the examination hall used a wireless microphone to read
out the questions and received the answers from the van, Xinhua quoted
their confessions as saying.

The three had charged the student 12,000 yuan ($1,500) for the
service, it added.

Security for the exam is tight, and exam papers are considered state
secrets before the tests.

Authorities in the neighboring Liaoning province spent 100 million
yuan fitting more than 8,000 exam halls with metal detectors and
cameras to prevent tech-savvy students from cheating on national
university entrance tests.

Police had found some 42 pairs of so-called "cheating shoes" with
transmitting and reception ability, selling for about $262 each, in a
flat in Shenyang, the provincial capital, state media said Thursday,
adding that they--along with "cheating wallets" and hats--had proved
popular this year.

Three men in the southwestern province of Sichuan received suspended
jail terms of 8 to 12 months last year for using pinhole cameras to
send out images of the entrance exam papers to be worked out by "hired
guns" for 19 students.

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