Pair used spy gadgets to help immigration test cheats
Murad Ahmed, Technology Reporter
From Times Online
November 14, 2008
Two men were convicted this week of running an elaborate scam to help people cheat on immigration tests using spy technology, in what authorities believe to be the first case of its kind.
Steve Lee, 36, and Rong Yang, 28, from Redhill used sophisticated survellaince equipment to feed answers to two Chinese men during knowledge of life immigration tests.
Kingston Crown Court heard on Tuesday that convicted pair supplied the Chinese men with a shirt fitted with tiny buttonhole cameras sewn in, a microphone and a small earpiece.
Lee and Yang would then help the person taking the exam, who may be unable to speak, read, or write English, directing them through the earpiece to move their body so the camera could view the exam paper. Lee and Yang would then tell the person taking the test which box to tick.
Police were alerted to the scam after Lee and Yang were spotted by a member of the public as they sat in a silver BMW 3 Series outside Wimbledon Library in March earlier this year. The witness was suspicious as they had wires running from under the bonnet to the inside of the car.
In the car with them was Ka Hung Pang, 52, who had taken his immigration test earlier that day. When officers reached the scene, a search of the car found wires leading to a number of electrical devices, including laptops, radio transmitters and other surveillance equipment.
Police initially believed that the high-tech equipment was being used as part of a cash machine fraud, but those in the car claimed it was being used to watch Chinese television channels. But as officers led the three people from the scene, a fourth man En Zhuang arrived, with 1,000 on his person.
After questioning, the details of the workings of the fraud emerged. Zhuang told detectives that Lee and Yang had told him during the test that police were searching the car and that he should dump the equipment. He later led officers to a local store where he had abandoned the technology.
Sergeant Dominic Washington, from Merton Borough police and who first responded to the call from the public, said:
Lee and Yang were clearly involved in a sophisticated operation using some of the best surveillance technology available worth thousands of pounds. When we first arrived at the scene it was very confusing as to what exactly was going on.
However, working with colleagues from across the borough and the Met we believe that we have uncovered an established criminal enterprise that may be in operation in other parts of the country. We will now be educating colleagues about this type of crime, and hopefully its raised profile and extra vigilance from Police will deter others from getting involved.
It also appears to be highly profitable and we are now using the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize substantial amount of assets from Lee and Yang.
Lee and Yang were sentenced to eight months in jail for three counts of of facilitating a breach of immigration law. Two Chinese men who they helped cheat during the spoken tests were sentenced to 180 hours community work for deception in seeking leave to remain in the UK.
Cheating is a national sport here in China! You should see some of the scams Chinese people use to cheat in English language tests in order to get into UK universities.
Will they be sent back to China (assuming they are Chinese nationals, not British ones)? Don't make me laugh!
The Chinese are hard working industrious people, who are an asset to businesses and to the economy of this country. On the other hand they are Johnny foreigners aren't they, and many can't speak good English. Better not let them in then, and let's concentrate on paying benefits to English layabouts.
Pete, Leamington Spa, UK
Will someone please assure the British Taxpayers, that all those involved will be deported?
Clive Burghard, Lancing, ENGLAND
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