One man and a woman, Steve Lee and Rong Yang, were convicted last week to eight months of prison after helping two Chinese men cheat their immigration exams, according to a news report from the Metropolitan Police Service. The duo was monitoring the examination from a vehicle outside the building with laptops, transmitters and other equipment.
“Lee and Yang were clearly involved in a sophisticated operation using some of the best surveillance technology available worth thousands of pounds. When we first arrived at the scene it was very confusing as to what exactly was going on.”
It’s hard to tell what was the “best surveillance technology available worth thousands of pounds” since no detailed equipment list was given, but we might expect this to be largely exaggerated. The report states that Zhuang, the examinee, was given “tiny buttonhole cameras sewn in, a microphone and a small ear piece”. With this equipment, the information was transmitted back to Lee and Yang, who told Zhuang the answers to the questions.
I decided to look the equipment needed to conduct such an operation. The following material can be found without looking very hard on the net:
· Wireless Button Camera – £226.37
· Wireless Microphone – £133.13
· Wireless Earpiece – £134
· Laptop – £429
· Wireless Router – £51
Unless I’m forgetting something worth more than £1000, this is far from being “thousands of pounds”. And I’m quite sure you can get these items cheaper if you look on eBay.
Anyway, the cheaters were caught after a member of the public reported seeing them sitting Lee and Yang in a silver BMW with wires running from under the hood to the inside the car.
According to Sergeant Dominic Washington who first responded to the call from the public, said:
“However, working with colleagues from across the borough and the Met we believe that we have uncovered an established criminal enterprise that may be in operation in other parts of the country.”
No, I don’t think so… but this might give ideas to the others. And why were there wires under the car?
 “Two convicted for immigration test scam”, Metropolitan Police Service, November 14, 2008, http://cms.met.police.uk/news/convictions/two_convicted_for_immigration_test_scam (accessed on November 17, 2008)