KYOTO: Police arrested a preparatory school student in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, for allegedly cheating in college entrance exams by using a mobile phone, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported.
The 19-year-old male, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, is suspected of disrupting the exam process by posting questions on the Internet via cellphone to solicit answers while the tests were in progress.
He took the exams for Kyoto University and three other universities and has successfully gained admission to at least one of them.
The case of suspected cheating by mobile phone has raised ethical concerns over use of the Internet and such mobile devices as more people become digitally savvy.
“I wanted to pass the exams,” the student was quoted as telling investigators during questioning in Sendai, where he was arrested. “I made the posts using a mobile phone by myself.”
The police are investigating the precise means by which he apparently posted questions on Yahoo! Japan portal’s question-and-answer section to solicit answers to the exam questions.
While the student is likely to have acted alone, the police are also looking into whether he had any accomplices in the case.
The student, who graduated from a public senior high school in Yamagata Prefecture and attends the Kawaijuku university preparatory school in Sendai, was held for allegedly obstructing Kyoto University by fraudulent means from properly conducting its entrance exams on Feb 25 and 26.
Obstruction of business by fraudulent means is punishable by up to three years in prison or a fine of up to 500,000 yen (RM18,000), but no one has ever been prosecuted for cheating during an exam.
The police took the rare move on the grounds that the alleged posting disrupted the entrance exam process, which should otherwise have been fair.
News of the suspected cheating broke after an anonymous tip alerted Kyoto University on Feb 26, prompting the police to examine access logs on the Yahoo! portal and communications data at NTT Docomo Inc, a major mobile phone carrier.
The police soon tracked down the student’s mother as the subscriber of the Docomo handset used in the case. — Bernama
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