Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cheating Shoes

Chinese police have detained three people for running a high-tech cheating scam involving wireless microphones during the national college entrance exam. Over 10 million high school students competed this week for just 5.7 million university places in the exam which takes place each June. It means make or break for the students and has spawned a string of cheating scandals in recent years. Police in Jiutai, in the northeastern province of Jilin, became suspicious when a mini-bus remained parked outside a school hosting the exam Thursday. Inside, they found three people, "two of them staring at a computer screen and talking into a walkie-talkie." A student in the examination hall used a wireless microphone to read out the questions and received the answers from the van. 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 neighboring Liaoning province spent 100 million yuan fitting over 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 2,000 yuan 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 8-12 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. Source: Yahoo news, Reuters and Xinhua News Agency.