Israeli police on Sunday arrested 40 doctors and pharmacists for allegedly buying fake medical licences from Armenia, following anonymous complaints to authorities.
The suspects, who are accused of purchasing the documents after failing their studies abroad, were rounded up at their homes and workplaces, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
Authorities believe the suspects obtained the false documentation through an Israeli agent who had also used fake certificates. The agent received around $17,000 for each referral, the report said.
Some who used the forged documents were able to pass the Israeli Health Ministry's licensing exams to work in the field.
One suspect from northern Israel was arrested while working in the internal medicine department of a hospital, a police statement said. Another suspect had reportedly managed to set up his own dental clinic.
During the investigation police also found pamphlets written in Arabic advertising a service for struggling students to transfer to Armenia and Georgia.
"We are pleased to announce to students having difficulty completing their studies the possibility of moving from universities in Europe to universities in Armenia and Georgia without losing time, including the possibility to undergo retraining from natural medicine, physical therapy, hearing and speech therapy to general medicine or dentistry," the pamphlets read.
Israel's Health Ministry has in the past warned students about Armenia's low academic standards for healthcare professions. The ministry has said that it is not obligated to recognise Armenian certificates due to "serious questions" about their study programmes.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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