Thai police to further investigate 'high-tech' exam cheating case

Thai police to further investigate 'high-tech' exam cheating case
Thai police displaying the smart devices exam candidates used.
PHOTO: The Nation/ANN

BANGKOK - Thai police have yet to charge any suspects in a much-publicised case of high-tech cheating at Rangsit University's entrance exams, as further investigation is needed into the case.

Pathum Thani police chief Pol Maj-General Thavorn Khaosa-ard told a news conference Wednesday that officers would need to investigate further before filing charges.

The Coordinating Centre for Public Higher Education Staff (Ches), meanwhile, said this cheating case should remind everyone that such behaviour is illegal.

"Now is a good time for the National Legislative Assembly's members who are also university executives to raise this issue," Ches secretary-general Weerachai Phutdhawong said.

Located in Pathum Thani province, Rangsit University has lodged complaints against five suspects who sat for its entrance exams for its colleges of medicine, dental medicine and pharmacy on Saturday and Sunday.

The tests had to be voided after it was found that three applicants had received answers to exam questions via smart watches.

Two other suspects had worn smart glasses that filmed the exam papers and sent their images out over the Internet, allegedly to one or more tutors.

Dr Jomdet Trimek of Rangsit University, who attended the press conference alongside Thavorn, said police had worked on the complaint and received information about the tutor or tutors involved, but could not provide details for fear of affecting the investigation.

"We will soon inform police about the damage the cheating has caused the university," he said.

Rangsit University has promised to pursue both criminal and civil actions against the culprits. Because of the cancellations of the exams, make-up examinations will be held.

One of the suspected cheaters showed up at the Pak Klong Rangsit Police Station at 1.30pm Wednesday. Accompanied by his parents, he wore a hood. He left without undergoing interrogation after asking that the session be postponed.

A source said three of the suspects had told police that a tutorial school promised to ensure that its students would sail through entrance exams and demanded payment of Bt800,000 (S$31,000) per candidate.

Adinan Pakbara, secretary-general of the Office of the Private Education Commission (Opec), said the implicated tutorial school had not registered his business with them. The office thus did not have authority to act against this school, even if it is found guilty.

National Police Commissioner General Chakthip Chaijinda, meanwhile, instructed relevant agencies to determine whether the use of high-tech gadgets used in the exam cheating had violated any laws.

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