DUBAI // Two university administrators accused of accepting bribes from students to change their exam results from fail to pass on an electronic system are back in court after the charges were altered.
Russian M N, 32, and M A, 33, from Lebanon, were in November last year charged at Dubai Criminal Court with accepting bribes totalling Dh300,000 from 20 major students at the American University in Dubai.
But now the Russian is charged with accepting bribes totalling Dh96,500 from eight students and other unidentified amounts from an unidentified number of students.
M A is now facing a charge of accepting Dh13,000 as a bribe from one student and another unknown amount from another student.
Together, both men are charged with pocketing Dh75,000 in bribes from four students.
The bribes taken by both men now total Dh184,500, according to the new charge sheet.
Prosecutors said that it is the defendants’ jobs to receive and process the English language TOEFL and IELTS exam documents from students and put them into the university’s electronic system.
They asked for and received bribes from students in return for changing their status on these exams from “Fail” to “Success”, it is claimed.
The pair were also charged with the forgery of 20 documents and with the use of these forged documents.
The head of the admissions section at the university, T K, 37, testified that M A was sacked in October 2012 as a result of his poor performance.
“On January 19  I noticed that five TOEFL documents for five students were not in the system but the students were accepted to the university [major course],” the Lebanese woman said.
“They cannot be admitted unless these documents with a pass result are available in the system.”
The admissions chief said that the Russian defendant was responsible for saving the documents in the system so she talked to him.
“He showed me copies of the documents so I told him we don’t take copies, we only take originals,” said T K.
She checked the copies and found later that day that there were no original documents for these copies. “Then someone I don’t know called me and said they were forged and that M N was aware of the forgery,” said T K.
She said the defendant was fired from the university and then she spoke to one of the students with the fake TOEFL results. He told her another student gave him the mobile number of the Lebanese defendant to arrange the scam in return for Dh20,000.
A check was carried out on TOEFL and IELTS results and more forged documents were found.
“Some of the students involved were expelled from the university while some were downgraded,” said T K, adding that M A wrote a confession letter.
The incident was reported to police and M A was arrested on February 5 last year when he returned to the university to finalise his dismissal papers.
“He denied his involvement but investigations revealed that he showed sudden signs of wealth as he bought a new, lavish car and was about to open a company,” testified police captain W A, 33.
On February 13 last year the Russian defendant was arrested at his home. Prosecutors said he confessed to charges and said he split the money with his accomplice.
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(via The National)