Net widens against ‘fake engineers’


Job hunters who pose as engineers to get jobs in Saudi Arabia are being warned of tough action.

The Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE) has hired a Dubai-based company to verify certificates as part of its efforts to weed out bogus professionals from the market.

A senior council official told Arab News that the SCE had detected 1,365 fake certificates of engineers employed in the Kingdom during the past six months,

Professor Ibrahim Al-Hammad, a member of the board of directors of the SCE, said 185 engineers were banned from taking up jobs as they submitted degree certificates issued by unrecognized or unaccredited universities from different parts of the globe.

The Dubai-based company checks the validity of the certificates, he said, adding that some unacceptable documents were also found among Saudi nationals who posed as engineers.

“We have plans to refer these forged cases to the Ministry of Interior for necessary action according to local laws,” Al-Hammad said.

The SCE is coordinating with the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIPP) on ongoing measures against those who have forged certificates.

The SCE is also linked through an e-system with the Ministry of Interior to deal with an expatriate engineer who carries a forged document, he said.

The number of Saudi engineers is nearing 35,000 but only 7,610 have registered with the council so far.

“This situation will soon come to an end with the adoption of a new “practice of profession” code and, upon approval, no Saudi or non-Saudi engineer will be allowed to practice the profession unless he or she gets an SCE card, Ghazi Al-Abbasi, secretary of SCE, told a local daily recently.

There are around 152,000 approved (accredited) engineers at SCE, he said, adding that the number of engineering offices registered with the SCE has now reached 2,768 offices, he said.

Mohammed Faiz, a Pakistani engineer, said holders of fake certificates might have arrived in the Kingdom long before the SCE was set up.

“Now such forged certificates cannot find a place in the Kingdom since they are filtered through a rigorous process ever since the SCE was set up.”

Professional certificates of engineers are now certified by the issuing authority in their respective countries, they are then sent to the concerned foreign ministry and subsequently attested by the Saudi missions based in those countries.

“A forged certificate could be spotted at any one of these three points,” he pointed out.


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