Saudi Shoura Council member Muwafiq Al Ruwaili has called for urgent measures to curb the phenomenon of fake degrees sold online, claiming about 7,000 people held these certificates, including officials in both the public and private sectors.
“We are trying hard to unearth the locations from where these fake certificates are being sold in the kingdom,” he was quoted as saying by the Arab News.
“Raids were recently conducted in apartments in Hail and Qassim where higher degree certificates were being sold.”
Al Ruwaili claimed that about 7,000 individuals in the kingdom held fake certificates, including officials in both the public and private sectors and consultants and trainers.
All of them obtained the certificates from websites specialisng in the sales of fake masters and doctoral degrees, he said.
In one case, Al Ruwaili said a person had received a fake doctoral degree purporting to be from the University of Columbus which was distributed by a person serving time in prison for forgery offences.
The convicted American was arrested following a raid on his apartment, where a large number of fake certificates, some of which were ready to be dispatched to the kingdom, were seized, he said.
Al Ruwaili claimed that about five percent of Saudi women working in the training and interior design domains held fake certificates.
He said that the Shoura Council recently passed a recommendation for the establishment of a national center for the “attestation and documentation” of post-graduate degrees.
Saad Al Bazei, another Shoura Council member, said that the acquisition of such fake degrees should constitute a criminal act.