Six US suspects held for using fake Chinese passports in student visa plot

World | 13 Mar 2019 4:23 pm

Several California residents were arrested Tuesday in connection with a scheme to help Chinese nationals obtain student visas by hiring people to take English proficiency exams for the foreign students, AFP reports.

US federal authorities allege that those involved in the plot used counterfeit Chinese passports to impersonate 19 different students who were required to take the so-called TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam to get a US student visa. The exams took place over a year in 2015 and 2016 in and around Los Angeles.

Six people have been named in a 26-count indictment handed down in the case on Friday. They include the five arrested on Tuesday and a sixth who currently residing in Taiwan, authorities said.

California universities are a major draw for Chinese students and this is not the first time such a scheme has been uncovered.

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