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'ID theft' officials face tough action
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08:28, May 13, 2009

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The Ministry of Education has vowed to severely punish any school or university officials who helped an ex-town leader enroll his daughter in college under a stolen identity.

Wang Zhengrong has been detained over allegations he forged official documents to copy the ID card of Luo Caixia, 23, and intercepted an admission letter from Guizhou Normal University.

His daughter Wang Jiajun was admitted under the identity of her former classmate Luo in 2004 and went on to graduate with a teaching certificate. The degree has been revoked following the scandal.

However, the ministry is now investigating claims Zhang Wendi, a class advisor at the high school Luo and Wang Jiajun attended in Hunan province, and Tang Kunxiong, a teacher at the Guizhou university, aided the identity theft.

"The ministry has ordered local education administrators to cooperate with the police for a quick, effective investigation," a senior ministry official, who asked to remain anonymous, told Xinhua News Agency yesterday.

"Education officials found to have violated the rules will receive severe punishment and be handed over to prosecutors."

"This was a major breach of the rules by Wang and the others involved, and the incident was a malicious one."

Wang Zhengrong was the head of a township government in Shaodong county, Hunan province, at the time of the alleged identity theft and later served as commissar in the public security bureau of neighboring Longhui county.

Luo, who will soon graduate from Tianjin Normal University, uncovered the theft after being refused a bankcard as one had already been registered with a fake ID card that carried a photograph of Wang Jiajun. The alleged theft happened before the introduction of an online database of students' college enrollment results in 2005, which would have helped prevent such a scandal, said the ministry official.

Source: China Daily/Xinhua

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