Muscat: The Ministry of Higher Education has discovered over 1,000 forged educational certificates and is taking stringent measures, including considering introduction of pre-university qualifications for undergraduate or graduate studies, to curb this menace.
The ministry has confirmed that as many as 1,224 certificates were found to have been forged, of which 119 were the certificates for educational qualifications while 1,177 cases involved stamps and ratification documents issued by the Ministry of Foreign affairs.
The ministry has taken the forgery very seriously and will follow up the issue diligently.
The ministry has an inventory of cases involving fraud for the period from 2005-end to April last — a period during which 1,224 cases of fraud were detected, including 119 in which qualifications were found rigged and 1,177 in which the seals and ratifications issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassies of the Sultanate abroad were found to be forged.
According to the ministry, 70 cases were discovered before the Ministerial Council's decision in 2006 on the new mechanism employed to address the fake educational certificates menace.
The cases include 35 filed in a personal capacity, 11 cases of people working with government agencies under the Civil Service Law, nine working with government agencies but not under the Civil Service Law, nine working in the private sector and six cases of expatriates working in government and private sectors.
A total of 1,194 cases were discovered after the Ministers' Council decision on the mechanism to curb this menace. These forged documents belonged to expatriates from India, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Bangladesh and the Philippines.
The ministry has pointed out that most of these fake educational certificates were those ostensibly issued by institutions in Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Tanzania, India, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and the USA.
The ministry clarified that the fake certificates were in different majors, including aviation science, business administration and information systems, nursing, medicine, humanities, engineering sciences, and also high school certificates.