Degree Mill Uncovered In Klang Valley

posted Jul 29, 2012, 5:02 PM by Everboleh Chow
Friday July 27, 2012

525 sought over degree scam

By M. KUMAR and JEANNETTE GOON 
newsdesk@thestar.com.my


SHAH ALAM: Police are tracking 525 people who allegedly bought fake degrees and certificates from non-existent international universities.

Selangor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah said police would like to question the 525 people in the course of their investigations.

The syndicate, which has been active since 2003, has sold up to RM5mil worth of fake certificates and degrees, he told a press conference at Selangor police headquarters.

Police have so far arrested a 37-year-old man, believed to be the mastermind, and a woman, 36, following a recent report in a Malay daily exposing the syndicate.

Concrete evidence: Some of the items seized during the raid being displayed at the Selangor police headquarters while DCP Tun Hisan (middle) addresses the press.

DCP Tun Hisan said investigations so far showed that the syndicate was being managed by a couple.

It is believed that the wife of the mastermind is a lecturer at a local university and is still at large.

DCP Tun Hisan said that following the news report and information from the Higher Education Ministry, police raided the syndicate's office at Jalan USJ 10/1A in Subang Jaya on Wednesday.

“We managed to seize lists of the bogus certificate recipients, application forms and various other documents,” he said.

The syndicate sells the certificates online by offering a bachelors degree for RM6,500, a Masters for RM8,500 and a PhD for RM10,500, plus RM1,000 in fees to take part in the convocation ceremony.

The syndicates claimed that these certificates were issued by a private institution of higher learning said to be affiliated with five universities identified as University of Rock-hampton and Harvey International University in the United States along with Cannington Brook University and Glastonbury Univeristy in United Kingdom and Charles Molnar University.

Police also said checks revealed that the universities in the United States and Britain were non-existent.

When the names of the foreign universities were keyed into the search bar on the Malaysian Qualifications Agency website, they failed to yield any result.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/7/27/nation/11742579&sec=nation

Other relevant articles on this topic:

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/7/26/nation/20120726232105&sec=nation

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/7/29/nation/11753548&sec=nation

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P3's Comment:

There we have it.... a degree mill being uncovered. But one of the problems faced by authorities is that this is a relatively "open" case where the operator has been advertising openly and has even a seemingly "legit" institution fronting the business with razzmatazz of graduation ceremonies etc.... making it a relatively easy catch by the authorities. What is more worrying to us is the fact that there are many more degree mills out there that solely go by online transactions that are not easy to uncover and action taken on them.

One thing is wrong about The Star's report above is: Malaysian Qualifications Agency is only concerned with qualifications offered by Malaysian institutions in Malaysia. Thus its website will not have any listing on foreign qualifications that are not offered by legitimate institutions of higher learning in the country. Thus you will not find any Yale University's or Cambridge University's awards being listed in MQA's site not because these are not legitimate qualifications but rather that these are not awarded by the said institutions locally in Malaysia. So MQA's jurisdiction does not cover these. Hence what we are trying to say is: if a foreign award in which the awarding university / institution is not listed in MQA's register of qualification, it does not necessarily mean that this is a fake award,  

Perhaps if  employers are in any doubt of a qualification presented, they should consult the authorities or perhaps engage our services accordingly to assure themselves if they prefer a comprehensive investigation. After all, you do not want to hire one of the 525 people sought after by the Police as stated in the article above.