Sources: Exam cheating suspect had accomplice

The Yomiuri Shimbun

A teenager suspected of cheating in last month’s Common Test for University Admissions allegedly had an accomplice, according to investigation sources.

A 19-year-old female university student who lives in Osaka Prefecture is suspected of sending images of the questions to others during the test, and her alleged accomplice is suspected of helping her create the images.

The Metropolitan Police Department sent papers to prosecutors Thursday on the student and a man in his 20s on charges of obstructing the operations of the National Center for University Entrance Examinations, the administrator of the test.

The student turned herself in to police on Jan. 27, the day after the suspected cheating was first reported by news outlets.

During the initial interrogation, she said she had acted alone on Jan. 15, the first day of the two-day unified university admission exam, according to the sources.

“I took a video with my smartphone hidden in my sleeve while seated, and sent images after taking screenshots of the footage,” she was quoted as saying.

However, she later changed her account, denying that she had acted alone.

The teen claims she shared the video with the male company employee, asking him to create the screenshots. The man allegedly sent the images to University of Tokyo students the teen had found on a home tutor website, according to the sources.

The MPD examined her smartphone, confirming that she had shared a video recording of questions from the World History B test with the alleged accomplice and sent screenshots to students, including from the University of Tokyo, via Skype.

Some of the students sent the teen answers within a requested timeframe. They claim they were unaware of the alleged cheating at the time.

Messages including, “I’m sorry the images might be low quality,” accompanied the screenshots. The MPD believes the alleged accomplice created the images and messages that were sent to the University of Tokyo students and others.