Abu Dhabi: A massive scandal concerning the trading of forged higher educational degree certificates has rocked Kuwait with clients reportedly including three officers in the Ministry of Interior, a captain from the Royal Family and one officer in the army, Kuwaiti media reported.
The discovery has prompted calls to punish the violators regardless of their stature in the country, Al Qabas reported.
“All the officers, who bought fake degrees, were suspended from work, and two of them were discharged, after final court rulings were issued against them, while the other two have yet to be brought to account and will be fired if convicted,” the sources said.
The accused is identified as Ayman, an Egyptian, who has been extradited to Kuwait by Interpol, has been sentenced, in absentia, to more than 63 years in prison.
He has been placed in custody for 21 days, pending investigation into three forgery cases.
The accused told prosecutors he came to Kuwait in 1991 and worked as a teacher of the Arabic language, in 1999 he went to work in the private sector, establishing several private institutes, one of its most prominent works is to send students to study abroad, and he also held training courses in government agencies.
Sources estimated that the man had made 600 fake degrees and sold them to high profile clients for betweenKD12,000 to KD20,000.
The sources said Ayman was able to obtain these degrees through official avenues and they were attested with original stamps.
The scam was revealed when a high profile figure was found to have bought his degree from Ayman and an Egyptian university confirmed he was not in its records.
A PhD holder working in a senior position was fired last week after he was found to have obtained his degrees from the accused. The fake degree holder will also stand trial, the sources said.
Last year, an office in the Salmiya area was found to have been selling fake degrees for 13 years and the list of the beneficiaries included people holding high positions in banks and companies in the country.
They sold college degrees for around KD9,200 and high school diplomas for around KD2,500.
Lawmakers said the government should present a report that includes the extent of the forged certificate violations, the role of the Ministry of Education in dealing with them and the legal, judicial and academic procedures adopted by the ministry.
Fake degrees were obtained by graduates from the American University of Athens and other universities in the Philippines, India and former Czechoslovakia and they were not endorsed by the ministry.