Man booked for taking English tests for others

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Man booked for taking English tests for others

Thirty-seven people were booked on charges of using a proxy test-taker for the Toeic, Toefl, Teps and Opic, police said Monday.

A 30-year-old college senior who, from February 2014 to November 2016, allegedly took the exams on their behalf or told them the answers through a wireless telecommunications device, was arrested on Jeju Island.

Surnamed Lee, the suspect received between 1.3 million and 6 million won ($1,115 and $5,148) from each client, amassing a total of 120 million won. Police identified Lee as a student at a four-year private university in Seoul.

Lee is fluent in English due to his five-year experience living in the United States with his father, who headed an overseas branch of a Korean company. Lee admitted to the charges, claiming he was trying to pay off his online gambling debt.

Almost all of his clients, which he attracted online, were aged between 20 and 50. Some wanted to find jobs, while others were seeking promotions. One 33-year-old elementary school teacher in Gyeonggi asked for a high score on Toeic so he could gain admission to graduate school.

There were also two people who worked for a public research center, and an administrator at a private university.

For eight people, mostly women, Lee worked long distance and told them the answers through an electronic device. For others, Lee took the English exams on their behalf, equipped with a fake identification card.

In the latter cases, Lee used a smartphone application that synthesizes different faces so he did not look too different from his clients. Jeju police said they have reported the case to local authorities and exam organizers.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN, CHOI CHOONG-IL [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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