Twenty people paid RM4,888 each to a syndicate that sold fake Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) degrees, police investigations revealed.
Penang acting chief SAC II Datuk Abdul Rahim Jaffar said they banked in the money into eight different accounts under the name of a 26-year-old man, one of the three suspects arrested.
He said the syndicate promised to upload the names of the buyers onto a USM database using a special software but then did not even respond to any phone calls after the money had been banked in.
“Initial investigations determined there was no inside job,” he told reporters at the south Seberang Prai district police headquarters in Jawi, near here, yesterday.
SAC II Abdul Rahim said the syndicate might have started its operations about four months ago, adding that the price of a “certificate” signified good luck.
The brains behind the syndicate is a 24-year-old woman, a former USM student.
A police source said that she had a Facebook account offering the fake scrolls which had garnered 516 “likes”.
Besides the former student, a 25-year-old woman and the male suspect were nabbed at a house in Kampar, Perak, on Saturday.
Police seized several computers and a soft copy of a USM scroll in one of the computers.
In GEORGE TOWN, USM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Omar Osman said employers could verify with the university if they had doubts over the authenticity of certificates produced by their interviewees.
He advised employers to ask them to show their academic transcripts during the interviews. “Each bears a unique serial number of that undergraduate. This cannot be falsified.
“We also have the Gazetted Graduate Convocation Book, which is a physical database with the particulars of all the graduates.
“We have produced 120,000 graduates since our establishment,” he added.
He said other unique characteristics of a USM certificate included the university’s watermark and seal.
Source : waystan