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Seven Chinese charged over using fake passports in test-taking scam


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Thai police have arrested seven Chinese who were allegedly hired to take ACT (American College Testing) exams on behalf of other test-takers who wanted good results in order to apply to study in the United States, Immigration Police Bureau chief Pol Lt-Gen Surachate Hakparn told a press conference on Monday.

The first batch of five suspects – Chinese nationals Wang Jie, 27, Huang Li, 27, Lin Jia, 28, and Chen Juan, 33, and one American national, Yao Michael Li, 30 – were arrested on Friday afternoon at the ACT examination site at Mahidol University’s Salaya Campus in Nakhon Pathom. The five suspects reportedly confessed to police that they had been hired to take the ACT exams on behalf of the real applicants for between 10,000 and 20,000 yuan (about Bt47,500-Bt95,000) per person.

They said a China-based agency had helped coordinate with the customers and arranged for their accommodation, travel expenses and fake passports – containing the real applicants’ details, but with the suspects’ photos – to undertake the task. They were to get good results in the exam, discard the fake passports and travel back to their home countries, police quoted them as saying. The second batch of two suspects – Chinese nationals He Liu, 28, and Huang Xiofan, 39 – were arrested on Saturday at the ACT examination site at NIST International School in Bangkok’s Watthana district.

Police also found that Liu was carrying eight fake passports, and he reportedly confessed to having previously taken exams for hire in various countries, including the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam. The seven suspects, whose Thai visas have been revoked, were all charged with using forged passports, while Liu faces the additional charge of having fake passports in his possession for the purpose of selling them, Surachate said.

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