Nearly 80 students and college admission consultants have been nabbed on charges of producing ghostwritten essays and other papers for writing competitions, which were later used to embellish college entrance applications, according to police Thursday.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said it has booked 18 workers at a college admission consulting institute in southern Seoul and 60 students involved in the organized scam that spanned from June 2017 to July of last year. Among the suspects, the head of the institute was detained by police.
Opened in 2015, the private institute began accepting students seeking to enter universities through admission programs that focused on students' school records, such as grades, extracurricular activities and achievements and general conduct.
The institute allegedly ordered its instructors to produce proxy papers, including book essays, research papers and invention reports, on behalf of students to submit to competitions. The cost per single paper reached as high as 5.6 million won ($4,940), according to police.
Papers that were awarded prizes were listed on students' school records, which were taken into consideration in admission processes.
The police said they will share the investigation results with the education ministry and the organizers of competitions involved in the case. They will decide whether to expand the probe to the parents as well.
"(The police) will sternly crackdown on unlawful activities hindering the fairness of school entry and employment." (Yonhap)