Macedonia: Counterfeit Diploma Case Spurs Wider Police Probe
Officials are on the lookout for additional cases of diploma fraud in the Balkans after the arrest of a Macedonian man who is accused of selling counterfeit university diplomas.
According to the SETimes, authorities arrested a 30-year-old Tetovo resident earlier this month for selling fraudulent diplomas from the State University of Tetovo to Italians. University officials said that man is not affiliated with the institution.
Vulnet Ameti, rector of the State University in Tetovo, expressed concern over the case, and how “an irresponsible person has taken such a hideous act for personal gain” reports SETimes.
Macedonian authorities said they will investigate whether there have been other universities in the region whose names and credentials have been unlawfully used to manufacture diplomas. According to police, 18 counterfeit university diplomas and 49 fraudulent high school diplomas were discovered in Macedonia from 2008 to 2012.
The Macedonian case points to a larger problem of degree falsification in the Balkan region.
Last year in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, police uncovered a counterfeit ring that created false diplomas, drivers licenses, and official documents.
Citing the development of technology that has made manufacturing diplomas easier, Samoil Malcevski, professor at the University St. Apostol Pavle in Macedonia, told SETimes, “It is obvious that the problem with counterfeiting of the university diplomas is bigger than we thought." He stressed that universities should pay closer attention.
Bojan Vlaski, a professor at the Faculty of Law in Banja Luka, told SETimes that forged diplomas are becoming commonplace, adding that "Unfortunately, this phenomenon has a negative impact on the educational system, which is already low quality. The authorities should do more to tackle this issue and that means more control, more transparent exams."