National Security has picked up three persons described as the kingpins behind rogue websites that solve examination questions and post them online while the exams are in session.
The names of the suspects, picked up from separate locations in the Eastern, Central and Greater Accra regions, have been withheld as investigations are ongoing.
The first one was picked up at Akim Akoroso in the Eastern Region, while the second and third ones were picked up at Kasoa in the Central Region and the Palace Mall, Spintex, in the Greater Accra Region respectively.
The National Security has secured a court warrant to hold them in its custody pending further investigations and possible prosecution.
The West African Examination Council (WAEC) at the commencement of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in August this year submitted details of more than 21 such websites to the security agencies for tracking to bring those behind them to book.
Also included in the report to the security agencies was the harm those websites were causing to the generation and the nation as a whole.
Subsequent to that, on September 8 and 9, 2020, personnel of the National Security were able pick up the three and are on the heels of others and their accomplices.
Before and during the 2020 WASSCE, there were a number of reported cases of alleged examination papers circulating on social media, some of which were fake, while others were snapped at the commencement of the examination and uploaded on such websites and other social media.
Briefing the Daily Graphic on the arrest conducted by the National Security operatives, the Head of Legal, WAEC, Rev. Victor Brew, said outfit viewed the move as a major breakthrough in the council’s effort to smoke out operators of such websites.
He advised the public, especially the candidates, who were on such WhatsApp platforms where examination materials were shared for cash to immediately exit from such groups because the security agencies were closing in on such operators.
He reminded the candidates that those WhatsApp groups had existed to serve the parochial interest of the operators, stressing that “they do not mean well for the candidates at all”.
As the junior high school (JHS) final year students begin their Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) today, Rev. Brew advised the candidates to be wary of those WhatsApp groups to save themselves from the temptation of the operators.
He reminded the candidates that it was an offence to carry a mobile phone to the examination centre, particularly the examination hall, because it was against the WAEC Act and an infraction of the rules and regulation governing the examination.
Rev. Brew said any candidate caught with a mobile phone would have his or her entire results cancelled.
Section 6(b) of the WAEC Act 2006 (Act 719) states: “A candidate, who, during an examination is in possession of a textbook, an electronic device or material in the examination room without lawful authority, proof of which shall be on the candidate, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than 50 penalty units and not more than 100 penalty units.
“Or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both, and the person shall in addition be disqualified from taking the examination and if the person has already taken a paper at the examination, the paper shall be cancelled by the council,” the Act states.