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Singapore: Tutor takes O-Level exam for students  in ‘highly sophisticated’ plot

Involving a 'highly sophisticated' plot. Source: Shutterstock

It was an elaborate plot involving mobile phones, Bluetooth devices and skin-coloured earpieces.

Tan Jia Yan, a tutor, had registered as a private candidate for the GCE O-Levels exams at the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board in October 2016 to help her students cheat, Channel News Asia reported. She wore a jacket to hide an iPhone taped to the front of her blouse that she wore inside.

Tan then Facetimed a live feed of the exam questions to the accomplices, who would then look for the answers to the questions before ringing the students to read the answers to them, prosecutors said during the opening day of the trial on Monday.

The “cheating operations” were “highly sophisticated”, Deputy Public Prosecutor Vadivalagan Shanmuga said.

Prosecutors said they found out about the cheating plot when an invigilator heard strange sounds coming from a student during the English Paper 1 at Tampines Secondary School.

After checking the student’s vest, it was found to contain a mobile phone, a Bluetooth device and a skin-coloured earpiece.

Tan now faces 27 charges of cheating. Poh Yuan Nie, the principal and two fellow teachers at Zeus Education Centre where Tan was employed are contesting the charges on them.

The principal is alleged to have received from a Chinese national S$8,000 (US$6,100) as “deposit” and S$1,000 (US$764) “admission fees” for every student referred to the tuition centre. If the students failed the exams or failed to gain admission to a polytechnic here, both were supposed to be refunded.

CNA notes that Poh had previously been linked to another scam to help Chinese students cheat in exams. When it was traced back to Poh, her girlfriend Wong Mee Keow had lied to the police saying she had no idea who Poh was. The police then dropped the case. A decade later, Poh was arrested for cheating scams she had perpetrated in 2015 and 2016.

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