Doctoring the documents like never before

India has a reputation for producing a lot of doctors, but it may also be gaining a reputation for Fake docs
producing a lot of doctoring. The fake-document industry appears to be flourishing like never before, which makes you wonder how many of those doctors have doctorates that were doctored. Not many, I believe, but every now and then, a fraudulent doctor is busted, perhaps after giving a patient reason to doubt his medical knowledge.

Patient: "Doctor, my angina is killing me. Please help me!"

Doctor: "Okay, lie back and spread your legs."

A Bangladeshi man named Golam Kibria was recently fined for practicing medicine with no real  qualifications — unless you count that high school certificate.

After interrogation, Kibria confessed holding no medical
qualifications. He said he began his career as an employee at a
pharmacy in Kushtia in 1991. Since he wanted 'to become a doctor', in
2003 he went to India and bought MBBS and MD (Doctor of Medicine)
certificates at a cost of Tk 12,000 from a network of people there who
specialise in sale of 'fake' certificates of different colleges and
universities. [Link]

Only Tk 12,000 ($175) for a pair of medical degrees? Wow, I wonder if I can finally make my mother's dream come true. Don't worry: I'm not planning on practicing medicine — just practicing being a good son.

Imagine how pleased my mom would be to display my MD certificate on her bedroom wall, right next to my PhD from Harvard and MBA from Wharton.

Medical certificates may be the most coveted documents, but a host of others can also be purchased. The Canadian visa office in Chandigarh has been flooded with false documents, contributing to two-thirds of applications being rejected.

A presentation made by Chandigarh visa officers to Immigration
Minister Jason Kenney during his visit this month highlighted the
myriad tactics used to dupe Canadian officers.

One doctored bank document suggested a visa applicant had a balance of about $25,000 when he actually had about $7.50

fake airline ticket submitted in another case shows an applicant had
booked a direct flight between Toronto and New Delhi on a route Air
Canada no longer flies.

Then there are forged letters from
Canadian funeral homes, submitted by applicants asking to travel to
Canada after a death in the family. [Link]

Applicants have also submitted photos from fake weddings, counterfeit letters from Members of Parliament, and, of course, congratulatory letters from the Nobel Prize Committee.

"Dear Mr. Kumar: On behalf of the Nobel Prize Committee, it is my distinct honour to congratulate you on winning the Nobel Prize for Culinary Science. You have been selected for this prestigious award based on your recent experience, helping to cook the books at Satyam Computer Systems."

How the authorities are able to detect such forgeries is beyond me. Many of them are also experts at spotting fake passports, such as the ones that dozens of Jet Airways passengers have been traveling to Toronto with.

After pressure from Canadian officials, Jet has reassigned
responsibility for passenger security checks to its security division
from its customer service department.

"We want to root out this menace as much as anyone," said Ragini Chopra, a Jet spokesperson.

In most cases, a person with an extensive international travel history applied for and received a legitimate Canadian visa.

The photo page of their Indian passport was then replaced with a doctored one and used by a different person. [Link]

Doctored? That reminds me that I need to make a phone call.

Me: "Hello, is that Chandigarh Doctoring College?"

Man: "No, this is Chandigarh Medical College. I am the vice-chancellor. What degree may I interest you in?"

Me: "I'm thinking of getting an MD degree."

Vice-chancellor: "Excellent! But first you must get an MBBS."

Me: "Can I get both together?"

VC: "Yes, of course. It will cost you only $1,000. We accept Visa and MasterCard."

Me: "One thousand dollars! But it's just for my mom. I don't really intend to practice medicine."

VC: "But you must practice. Practice makes perfect. That's what I tell everyone."

Me: "Well, I don't want to practice with human lives."

VC: "In that case, you should get our Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree."

Me: "A DVM? My wife has one of those."

VC: "Then you must get one, too. You must not let your wife be more qualified than you. That's what I tell everyone."

Me: "Good point. Can I get an MBBS, MD and DVM?"

VC: "Yes, of course. The more education you have, the better you will do in life. That's what I tell everyone."

Me: "Can you also give me a PhD from Harvard University and an MBA from Wharton?"

VC (laughs): "Please, sir, we can't give degrees from other universities. We are trying to maintain a good reputation here."

Me: "What if I pay you $3,000? Will you do it then?"

VC: "How do you spell Harvard?"


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If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. Too good

  2. rofl

  3. Maybin Ngambi says:

    wonderfull piece of work..!!

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