LANZHOU -- Huo Jigang, vice director of Yanggu county agriculture bureau in east Shangdong Province, surrendered to police on Sunday for organizing a 27-member cheating gang in the national college entrance exam this month.
Three local officials in northwest Gansu Province were reprimanded for having taken part in the fraud which has shocked the country, according to sources with the Tianshui city government of Gansu.
Huo was removed from his post last week, and he fled. The police issued a warrant for him.
Police said Huo asked his wife Zhang Yuru and Wei Chengjia, a teacher from the Yanggu No.1 Middle School in Shandong, to contact Jiang Xin, a teacher in the Tianshui No.6 Middle School, to fabricate household registration and ID cards for 27 Yanggu students, with Huo`s son`s name included. Online local media said Huo`s motivation was to make money.
By giving "commission fees" to six police officers, Jiang was able to complete the application process for the national college entrance exam for the 27 students.
A total of 18 senior high school students in Shandong who travelled across the country to impersonate others in Gansu in the national college entrance exam have been rounded up and sent home by police.
The police later found that the cheating gang composes of 27 students, including those 18.
The teenagers were exposed as illegal exam surrogates in Tianshui city in Gansu after one of them mistakenly signed his own name.
All 27 were second grade students of Yanggu County No.1 Middle School in Shandong.
On June 4, during the exam, a proctor noticed a student crossing out his name on the test paper, and then writing a different one. After comparing the photos on his admission form and identity card, the proctor decided the student was an impostor.
The surrogate exam-taker allegedly confessed to the police that they were asked to sit the exam as surrogates for the real exam applicants.
The police detained two other people, Zhang Yuru and Wei Chengjia, who allegedly transported the students to Gansu.
Zhang told police she was a laid-off worker in Yanggu county and was paid to take care of two relatives, both exam surrogates.
Wei, a chemistry teacher, said he was asked by others to bring students to Gansu.
Zhang and Wei were detained for "disturbing the social order".
Xinhua reporters twice went to Tianshui No.6 Middle School, where at least four of the real exam-takers were registered. However, Wang Tao, the vice head of the school said he was uncertain that his school had those four students enrolled there.
A string of cheating scandals, including test paper leaks and exam impostors, plague the national college entrance exam every year.
The Ministry of Education said last Tuesday that 2,645 people out of 10.38 million examinees were found cheating this year, down by about 800 over last year.