Fake passports uncover TOEFL scam in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai police on Monday arrested two Chinese women who allegedly used fake passports to sit for a TOEFL exam on behalf of paying clients.


Jing Su, 22, and Jiang Jiang Xuan, 26 – the spellings a transliteration of their names from Thai as police heard them – were charged with using fake passport and visa stamps.

Chiang Mai Tourist Police chief Pol Col Adul Srijunta said his team was tipped off by Associate Professor Songphan Tantrakul, deputy dean of humanities at Chiang Mai University, who helps run the TOEFL (English as a foreign language) exams at the school.

Songphan noticed the two women sitting for Monday’s exam, which drew about 30 foreigners, and remembered them taking the test earlier. He said they used different names each time.

He summoned police, whose arrival while the exam was still underway prompted five sitters to flee. They were not caught.

Police said Jing’s passport allegedly carried the name “Xu Kashing” and Jiang’s was issued for a “Lin Xiying”.

They allegedly admitted being hired by Chinese agents to take the exam for others in exchange for 10,000 to 20,000 yuan (Bt50,000 to Bt100,000) plus travel fare to Thailand and other countries. This was the first time they’d been arrested.

They said they travelled using real passports but used fake ones when taking exams