Dr Hamed Al-Azmi

KUWAIT: Minister of Higher Education Dr Hamed Al-Azmi announced yesterday that the ministry filed over 40 reports of suspected forged diplomas and turned them to the Public Prosecution to complete the legal procedures. "The initial inspection led to the discovery of a number of forged diplomas which called for an extra effort with the Ministry of Interior to find out who is behind this problem," said Azmi, also Minister of Education. "We are continuing our internal investigation into the matter and the results will be forwarded to the Public Prosecution as the process continues," Azmi added.


In the meantime, a newspaper report published yesterday quoted a security sources who said that a number of forgers are expected to be arrested and sent to the public prosecution soon, adding that they would be legally obliged to return money that they have collected for selling forged degrees. "Nobody is above the law as instructed by First Deputy Premier and Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who gave order to enforce the law regardless of the violator," Al-Anbaa reported, quoting the anonymous source.


Recent case


Furthermore, the source revealed a recent case recently discovered of a Kuwaiti man working as an administrator at the Interior Ministry. The man was reportedly hired after receiving a forged university degree four years ago, and was since promoted to a department's head then became a supervisor, and received salary increases in the process. He reportedly obtained his degree from Egypt, and it was attested by the Ministry of Higher Education at the time. Police arrested the man at his office after obtaining a warrant based on investigation's results which confirmed that his degree was forged.


Meanwhile, another newspaper quoted sources who revealed that the Ministry of Health is investigating several doctors, pharmacists, nurses and technicians who received their PhDs while working, on suspicions that their degrees could be forged. Those employees received their degrees from universities in various countries including Pakistan, Philippines and Jordan, Al-Jarida daily reported quoting the anonymous sources, who added that the ministry is coordinating with the higher education ministry to gather data about those involved.


Fake certificates


The fake certificates' issue was discovered when a government body requested verifying the certificate submitted by someone applying for a job in February, Undersecretary of the ministry of higher education Subaih Al-Mukhaizeem said. "The ministry contacted our relevant cultural office and the concerned university denied that the applicant had ever been registered or studied there," he explained, noting that the entire matter was then referred for investigation before referring it to the public prosecution.


Mukhaizeem added that the signature of the clerk who was supposed to check the certificate was also forged as someone else signed it while the clerk was on vacation. He also stressed that by checking with the database, it was noticed that such cases are increasing and all endorsements were made using fake signatures.