Jail for tuition centre principal, tutors in O-level cheating case
The former principal of an education centre who - assisted by her then tutors - schemed to help six students cheat in their 2016 O-level examination papers was sentenced yesterday to four years in jail.
The principal of the now defunct Zeus Education Centre, Poh Yuan Nie, 54, and two former tutors - her niece Fiona Poh Min, 33, and Feng Riwen, 28 - were each found guilty of 27 counts of cheating on July 7.
District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt convicted the trio following a trial. They committed the offences on multiple occasions in October 2016.
Yesterday, Fiona Poh was sentenced to three years' jail while Feng was sentenced to two years and four months in jail.
A fourth offender, former tutor Tan Jia Yan, 34, was sentenced to three years' jail last year for her role in the ruse.
Tan, who used to work at the education centre in Tampines Street 34, had pleaded guilty in April 2018 to 27 cheating charges. The three women are Singaporeans while Feng is a Chinese national.
The prosecutors had earlier stated in their submissions that Poh Yuan Nie, also known as Pony, was paid $8,000 per student by Mr Dong Xin, a Chinese national, to provide tuition to the students to help them pass the exams and enter local polytechnics.
Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) Vadivalagan Shanmuga and Cheng Yuxi had told the court that Poh masterminded the scheme while her accomplices would "not do anything without going through her".
A few hours before each exam, Fiona Poh, Tan and Feng helped to tape communication devices on the students. The students then took the exams with these devices taped to their bodies and carefully concealed by their clothes.
Tan also took the exams as a private candidate and used her mobile phone to present a live stream of the question papers to the co-accused stationed at the tuition centre.
Her accomplices then worked on the questions streamed to them. After that, Feng and the others called the students to read the answers to them.
The DPPs had stated that this criminal set-up succeeded for three papers from Oct 19 to 21, 2016. But it got exposed on Oct 24 that year when an alert invigilator heard "unusual electronic transmissions and voices" coming from one of the students.