Interpol Red Notice applied for S’pore woman, 56, after O-level exam cheating scheme

An arrest warrant has been issued for Poh Yuan Nie when she failed to turn up in court to begin her jail term.

Hannah Martens | December 22, 2022, 05:44 PM

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The former principal of a now-defunct tuition centre who helped six foreign students cheat in their 2016 GCSE O-Level examinations has absconded.

Poh Yuan Nie, also known as Pony, was found guilty of 27 counts of cheating and was sentenced in 2020 to four years in jail.

The 56-year-old woman failed to appear in court to begin her jail term on Nov. 23, and an arrest warrant was issued, The Straits Times (ST) said.

On Dec. 22, Deputy Public Prosecutor Louis Ngia applied to the court for the warrant of Poh's arrest to be executed outside of the jurisdiction, reported ST.

According to CNA, Ngia's reason for the application was so that an Interpol Red Notice could be made.

Interpol's website states that a Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action. It is not an international arrest warrant.

When asked if there was any specific country the warrant was to be applied to, Ngia said no.

As far as the police know, Ngia said, Poh has absconded, reported CNA.

Previously, an Interpol Red Notice was issued for a couple, Singaporean Pi Jiapeng and Thai national Siriwipa Pansuk, who scammed customers of S$32 million worth of luxury goods.

The case

Poh and three other accomplices designed a sophisticated operation to help six foreign students cheat at three O-Level examinations in 2016.

The accomplices were Feng Riwen, who was given two years and four months' jail, Tan Jia Yan, who was given three years' jail, and Poh's niece, Fiona Poh Min, who was also given three years' jail.

The operation involved Tan sitting for the O-level exams as a private candidate. She would have a smartphone strapped to her and a Bluetooth device and earpiece on her, Yahoo reported in 2019.

A livestream of the exam paper would be sent via the FaceTime app to the tuition centre, and Fiona and Feng would work out the solutions to the questions, reported ST.

The answers would then be read out to the students taking the exams.

According to Yahoo, the six students were also given Bluetooth devices connected to concealed mobile phones and skin-coloured earphones to receive the answers.

Their plot was eventually discovered on Oct. 24, 2016, when an exam supervisor heard unusual electronic transmission sounds and voices coming from one of the students.

Poh was found to be the mastermind behind the entire scheme.

Top photo from Unsplash