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1,500 held in sweep on test cheating aids (2)

By Zhang Yan (China Daily)

08:20, June 06, 2012

He declined to say how long the crackdown, which involved the investigation of 20,000 stores, mostly in the nation's electronics markets, has been running.

However, the detentions follow reports in September by the ministries of health, education and human resources that the content of State-level exams was being leaked, including for the professional medical exam and the master's entrance exam.

This year's gaokao, arguably the most important test for Chinese students, will be held on Thursday and Friday.

Despite intensified efforts to fight exam-related crime, cheating devices are still easily found for sale online and in electronic markets nationwide.

Several traders at the large Huaqiang North Electronic Market in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, said business for the illegal devices has been good in recent days.

"Many consumers at the moment are junior or senior students, or even their parents," said a male trader, when contacted by a China Daily reporter posing as a customer on Tuesday.

"Most prefer to buy clear-plastic earphones," he said, adding they are seen as "more efficient" but cost about 850 yuan ($130).

A woman who runs a store close by said traders selling banned devices are being extra cautious at the moment due to the crackdown ahead of the gaokao, but added: "As long as there is market demand, and the customers pay a good price, we're willing to take a risk."

Li Guifang, deputy director of criminal investigations for the All China Lawyers Association, said it needs cooperation from authorities to cope with the rampant cheating found in the exams.

"We should intensify the management for the examination room order, and conduct monitoring for the exam venues. Meanwhile, it's necessary to invite relevant authorities for supervision, including top legislature and disciplinary inspection departments, in stead of only the education sectors.

"Once such crimes occur, the judicial organs should intervene in a timely manner, then bring the suspects into the judicial process depending on the circumstance of the crime, rather than the education department itself for investigation," he said.


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