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Ministry vows penalties

THE Ministry of Education pledged yesterday to severely punish those involved in a scandal in which a former police officer sent his daughter to college under the name of a classmate.

This was the ministry's first response to the scandal, which became public after media reports last week.

Luo Caixia, 23, from central China's Hunan Province, was the victim of identity fraud by the family of her high school classmate Wang Jiajun.

Wang's family allegedly used Luo's ID card number, applied using her name to Guizhou Normal University, intercepted the admissions letter and enrolled their daughter in her name in 2004.

Luo herself, unaware of the scheme, enrolled at Tianjin Normal University a year later.

"The ministry has ordered local education administrators to cooperate with the police for a quick, effective investigation," a senior ministry official, who declined to be identified, told Xinhua.

"This was a major infraction of the rules by Wang and others involved, and the incident was a malicious one that seriously hurt Luo Caixia," the official said.

The investigation was still going on, she said.

"Education officials who are found violating the rules will receive severe punishment and will be handed over to prosecutors if they break the law."

Wang Zhengrong, the girl's father, has been detained.


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