Ex-student behind fake degrees

  • Nation
  • Monday, 02 Jul 2012

GEORGE TOWN: The brains behind two online degree mills that allegedly churned out fake Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) scrolls is a former student of the university.

A police source said the 24-year-old woman had a Facebook account offering such scrolls and this had garnered 516 ‘likes’.

She and two others – another woman, aged 25, and a man, 26 - were nabbed at a house in Kampar, Perak, on Saturday.

Several computers were seized in the raid. A soft copy of a USM scroll was found in one of the computers.

The source said a younger sibling of one of the suspects could be a USM student.

The university had lodged a police report on the matter, which is being investigated as cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code.

Vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Omar Osman said the university conducted an internal investigation before lodging the reports with the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission on Friday.

The university has since improved the security measures of the university scrolls.

A check by The Star had revealed that a “full degree package” was priced at RM5,888 and was non-negotiable, with the document delivered within a week.

A downpayment of RM400 has to be deposited into a bank account online and a photocopy of the applicant’s MyKad e-mailed before “work” on the degree could begin.

Penang commercial crime investigations chief Asst Comm Roslee Chik said the police were investigating if there are other syndicates selling such university degrees.

Meanwhile, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said those looking to get a university degree should earn the qualification.

“As far as I know, USM is the first university in Malaysia that has become the target of such a syndicate,” he said yesterday.

He told reporters at a function in Pasir Gudang that his ministry would study security methods used in other countries to stop syndicates from producing fake degree certificates and selling them to students.

Mohamed Khaled said it was currently difficult to determine if a degree certificate was genuine or not as there was no standard design for it.

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