KUWAIT CITY, July 22: An Egyptian suspect identified as M.S during interrogation admitted forging several bachelor’s and master’s degree certificates bearing the names of Egypt’s private and government universities, reports Al-Qabas daily. Apparently, the forgery was done quite professionally, because the accused was part of a team that sealed and certified certificates.
The daily quoting sources said investigation showed that several public sector workers are involved in forgery, and many of them appointed in sensitive sectors had obtained fake certificates. They added the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Hamed Al-Azmi issued a decision to terminate the service of the accused and suspended his salary plus indemnity.
They explained that all 9,000 certificates endorsed by the suspect are being examined to determine the fake ones, and investigators also believe that roughly 1,000 of the total 9,000 certificates he endorsed are fake. The same sources said 37 fake certificates have since been discovered among some investigators at the Ministry of Interior, and engineers, lawyers, nurses and civil employees occupying administrative positions.
They said a committee was formed as per directives from the minister to check all certificates entered into the ministry’s system from the time when the accused was appointed in 2007. They added the accused, employed by the Ministry of Higher Education, was arrested while leaving the workplace last Monday and he’s expected to be interrogated for at least one month due to the magnitude of the case. Sources said the Public Prosecution has summoned 11 citizens suspected to be involved in the buying of fake certificates.
Legal sources said the penalty of forgery is 7 years imprisonment with hard labor in case the fake certificate was not used in obtaining a public sector job. However, if the person who purchased the fake certificate consequently obtained a job in public sector, he will be forced to refund twofold the salaries he received.
They noted the Kuwaiti Cultural Office in Cairo has taken relevant steps in coordination with Egyptian authorities to figure out the number of fake certificates sold to Kuwaiti citizens in the last period.