Rise in forgery cases witnessed despite stringent govt penalties

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KUWAIT CITY, March 31: Amidst the government’s robust efforts to combat forgery crimes, particularly concerning university certificates and citizenship, courts are witnessing a significant surge in such cases, reports Al-Qabas daily. According to a reliable source, 618 instances of forgery of official documents were recorded in 2023. These cases, averaging two per working day during official hours, were subsequently referred to the judiciary. Despite stringent penalties, including up to seven years of imprisonment, for those found guilty of document forgery, some individuals persist in committing these crimes, banking on eluding legal consequences or avoiding detection altogether.

The scope of forgery cases brought before the courts is extensive, encompassing falsification of nationality, educational certificates, disability and medical certificates, driving licenses, health fitness certificates for expatriates, among others. These statistics, however, only account for apprehended crimes, signaling a pressing need for heightened measures against counterfeiters.

Anticipating a notable increase in forgery cases, the source attributes this trend to recent government initiatives, such as scrutinizing citizenship records, auditing state employees’ educational certificates, and intensifying efforts against all forms of forgery. Several convictions have already been secured in forgery cases, notably a recent ruling by the Court of Cassation imprisoning a Kuwaiti citizen for three years for falsifying nationality records. Another individual, implicated as a fictitious son in the same case, received a seven-year sentence.

These judicial proceedings coincide with governmental endeavors to cleanse citizenship records from tampering and forgery. Furthermore, the Ministry of Interior has received numerous reports of fraud and dual nationality since opening a hotline for such complaints. These reports are currently undergoing thorough investigation before being presented to the Supreme Committee for Citizenship for decision-making. Some forgery cases have arisen from familial disputes, including allegations of forged academic certificates and erroneous familial registrations. Among the most notable instances is a case where three individuals claimed paternity, which the accused denied, leading to a courtroom confrontation.

This news has been read 1924 times!

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