The Dedza Magistrate court has fined a student and three people who were found in possession of Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) Geography Examinations paper over the week.
The four have been slapped with a K250, 000 fine each or in default serve a 4 year jail term.
The four pleaded guilty in the court.
Police Prosecutor Sergeant PatrickChambuluka pleaded with the court to give them a stiff punishment to serve as a lesson to other would be offenders.
Chambuluka told the court that Eric Maxwell, 24, who was sitting for the examinations as an external candidate at Dedza Secondary School had connived with Alfred Chimoto, 21, Tawina Ntambo, 27, Innocent Chankhumba, 23, to be sourcing him leaked MSCE examination papers.
The four pleaded guilty to a charge of gaining access to examinations without authority.
In his verdict, First Grade Magistrate Damiano Banda said the four needed a stiff punishment to send a stern message to other students that cheating does not pay.
However, on Friday the convicts were in custody as they could not raise to pay the fine.
Maxwell and Chimoto come from Chimasula village in Traditional Authority Kaphuka in Dedza; Ntambo is from Mulonda village in Traditional Authority Mlumbe in Zomba while Chankhumba comes from Kawonenji village in Traditional Authority Masula in Lilongwe.