SHANGHAI: Three people appeared in court on fraud charges yesterday for
helping 130 Chinese students pretend to be foreign nationals so they could enter
top universities in Shanghai.
Foreign nationals face less stringent standards when applying to study at
Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People's Court heard that Zhao Yingjun, 53, Liu
Zhengsheng, 43, and Li Jing, 51, together swindled 6.29 million yuan ($810,000)
from 130 students from Shanxi and Jiangxi provinces in exchange for the illegal
Two other suspects - Gu Shenlin and Fan Shaorong - who remain at large, were
said to be the leaders of the gang.
The gang members allegedly promised the students that they could help them
enroll at Jiaotong University in Shanghai. When they failed to do so, they faked
the students' nationalities, making it appear as though they were from Vietnam
Jiaotong University and Shanghai University then accepted the students as
High school graduates from foreign countries can enter Chinese universities
by presenting their grades, passports and a certificate demonstrating their
proficiency in the Chinese language.
Officials at Shanghai University became suspicious when reviewing the
students' applications - they all claimed to be from the same parts of the same
foreign countries, to have finished high school in China and to have secured
their passports just before applying to the school. And their parents were all
born in China and worked here.
The school reported the situation to police, who determined that the
passports were fake. None of the students had been abroad.
The three gang members were arrested on August 22, 2006, and the 130 students
were all expelled.
The three suspects claimed to have been cheated by Gu Shenlin and Fan
Shaorong. Zhao and Liu, the deputy editor in chief of a magazine focusing on
legal issues, said Gu and Fan had helped their children get into respected
universities and they joined the gang because they believed the service was
"I thought I was just helping them to recruit students," Zhao told the court.
Liu claimed himself had paid some money for his relatives to go to the prep
No verdict has been reached.
(China Daily 07/11/2007 page5)