Dubai: Saudi Arabia plans to introduce penalties against people found to be holding fake academic degrees and to deport them from the Kingdom.
Forgers of academic degrees will face trial, imprisonment, deportation and also ban on entering the Kingdom, Director of General of Public Relations and Media in the Ministry of Interior Maj General Mohammed Al-Maro'al said in a statement.
The authorities have seriously taken up the issue of fake degrees, which are easy to purchase, Al-Maro'al said.
Last year, the Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE) said it found more than 30,000 forged engineering certificates.
Some engineers were found to be working with forged certificates in the Kingdom for as long as 30 years. SCE does not have any procedures in place to deal with Saudi engineers who have fake degrees, Saudi Gazette reported yesterday.
It said that if a non-Saudi engineer uses fake degrees or certificates, they are deported as per SCE rules.
An inspection team oversees the process of verifying certificates submitted by applicants.
Along with thousands of expat engineers holding fake degrees there are thousands of public health sector workers in the country who have false qualifications.
In 2013, about 620 employees in various government departments were found to be using fake degrees during a campaign launched by the Ministry of Education and other authorities.