Egypt police arrest alleged admin of Facebook exam leak page

Ahram Online , Thursday 9 Jun 2016

High school students
File photo: school students sitting an exam (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egyptian police have arrested the alleged administrator of a popular Facebook page that has published leaked school exam papers, the latest in a series of arrests designed to halt a flood of exam leaks.

The interior ministry said in a statement Thursday it had arrested an 18-year-old student, Mohanad Ahmed Moussa, who it said moderates three of the Facebook pages under the title 'Chao Ming helps thanaweya amma cheat' which leak question and answer papers for the high school thanaweya amma exams.

The ministry said the high school student admitted to leaking this week's English language test by taking a photo of the exam while completing it at a school in the coastal city of Alexandria.

Since the start of high school examinations earlier this week, test papers for several subjects have been leaked online, prompting officials to cancel the religious studies exam on Sunday as well as to investigate possible leaks from within the education ministry.

The largest Chao Ming Facebook page, which has over 750,000 followers and was created in 2012, claims to be the authentic page, with several other pages carrying the same name.

It has leaked question papers of many exams a few minutes after the official exam time starts, with answers usually posted online shortly after. Some students are believed to used their smart phones inside the exam rooms to view the answers.

The page administrator, however, said several hours before the police statement that he is not based in Egypt, adding that he "feels sorry for poor people" that police arrest claiming "they are Chao Ming."

The page had been temporarily blocked after many users sent reports to Facebook, but was back in operation on Thursday afternoon.

Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail vowed on Tuesday that tough legal measures would be taken against those who leak the exams.

On Tuesday, police arrested the alleged administrators of three Facebook pages that leak questions and answersm after reports emerged that the day's English language test was leaked 10 minutes into the exam.

On Sunday, a 19-year-old student was also arrested in Giza for allegedly running a "Chao Ming" page which had over 300,000 likes on the social media networking website.

A day later, prosecutors ordered the detention of 12 officials from the education ministry for 15 days pending investigations into the leaking incidents.

The 12 officials are reported to be employees in the printing houses the education ministry assigned to print the exams or the ministry's examinations centre.

The results of the thanaweya amma exams, taken in the final year of school, determine students' college destinations and subject choices.

More than 500,000 students are sitting this year's tests.

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