BANGKOK: National police chief Gen Chakthip Chaijinda said yesterday he would await the results of an internal investigation into cheating before deciding whether to cancel the results of an entrance exam for applicants seeking to be police officers.

Gen Chakthip’s comments were made after Col Uthen Nuiphin, chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau’s Training Center, filed a complaint with the Phaholyothin Police Station on Sunday against 347 applicants who attempted the exam. The cheating allegedly involved medical college students taking the test and showing applicants the correct answers.

Col Uthen also filed criminal charges against Jiraphot Plaidoung, an official with the Pathumwan-based Thesakij city regulation enforcement office, for racketeering, giving false information to police and violating the Computer Crime Act.

Col Uthen said another 178 others would also face legal action soon.

The students were reportedly paid up to 30,000 baht per head, while the gang that was believed to have organized the cheating was paid 500,000 baht, Col Uthen said.

Gen Chakthip has ordered investigations at all 12 command centers that hosted the exams.

He said he expected the Police Education Bureau and executives at the 12 centers to submit results to him by next week, after which he will decide if the central police committee should investigate further.

Deputy police spokesman Col Kritsana Pattanacharoen said yesterday that Gen Chakthip had instructed acting deputy Gen Dechnarong Suticharnbancha, who oversees police recruitment policy, to investigate the Metropolitan Police Bureau, Provincial Police regions 1-9, the Southern Border Provinces Police Bureau and the Border Patrol Police Bureau to determine if there had been further cheating.

Col Kritsana said that if cheating is confirmed, the offenders would be punished whether they are officials, police or exam takers and that remedial measures would be considered for those not involved in cheating.

The city police exam, held at Ramkhamhaeng University’s Bang Na and Hua Mark campuses, was held to recruit 1,000 officers out of 13,000 applicants.

Officers became suspicious of cheating after completed exam papers were checked, with one applicant scoring the highest 123 points, from a possible total of 150, while other 50 applicants scored 13. Some applicants later reportedly confessed to cheating.

According to deputy city chief Maj Gen Adul Narongsak, head of the sub-panel for the written test, the cheating was done in an organized manner, starting with the initial application at the Police Education Bureau in Phaholyothin, to plans to cheat made at a Suthisan hotel, and culminating with the exam at the Hua Mark campus.

About 30 medical college students were involved, said Col Uthen, with some admitting sitting exams for applicants in previous tests. As exam applications are done online, officers did not become suspicious until results were published, he said.

The medical students and real applicants also allegedly paid their application fees at banks in a sequence on one medical student followed by three real applicants, which ensured their seat placements were advantageous to cheating.

— The Nation