In an unfortunate resemblance to the American drama series Suits, an Emirati man has been found guilty of using a fake law degree.
The Dubai Court of First Instance handed down a three-month suspended prison sentence to the 39-year-old Emirati, whose name has not been revealed, Gulf News reported on Monday.
The unemployed man caught authorities' attention after he applied for accreditation for his forged degree, which suggested he had graduated with honors from an Egyptian university.
Seeking accreditation in the United Arab Emirates, the defendant had submitted his law degree to the nation's Ministry of Education in June 2018. The 2015-degree indicated he had graduated from Ain Shams University in Egypt with a "Very Good" distinction, via a distance learning program.
According to the ministry's legal researcher who testified in court, the ministry had contacted the Egyptian embassy for clarification regarding the degree in question. Since Ain Shams University does not offer a distance learning program, the embassy warned the ministry that the degree was forged.
The Emirati man was then referred to Al Ghusais police station, after which he was charged with forging an official document as well as using the forged document. It is believed an unknown individual helped him with the fake degree.
While the defendant had denied the allegations in court, the Dubai Court of First Instance found him guilty and sentenced him to a suspended prison term (a prison sentence delayed until after a period of probation or pending the results of non-prison sanctions).
According to Gulf News, whether or not the defendant had practiced law in the country in the past three years remains unclear.
The case draws parallels with the plot of the hit series Suits, which features a bright, yet fraudulent, lawyer who practices the profession without a university degree.
Over 100 fake foreign degrees were caught in the UAE last year
Back in January, Dr. Ahmed Bilhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, said over 140 fake degrees and certificates from foreign universities were caught by UAE authorities in 2018.
According to Khaleej Times, Al Falasi assured that the ministry takes precautionary measures to avoid the accreditation of dodgy degrees by thoroughly examining the stamps of all concerned parties and contacting universities for confirmation.