WELLINGTON: An Indian-origin psychiatrist from the US, charged with stealing the credentials of another US-based doctor so that he could work in New Zealand, was arrested and denied bail, a media report said on Thursday.
According to New Zealand police, Illinois-based psychiatrist Mohamed Shakeel Siddiqui used the credentials of another psychiatrist Mohammed Shafi Siddiqui.
He allegedly used the doctor’s references as his own, New Zealand Herald reported.
Mohamed Shakeel got a job in New Zealand through a recruitment agency. He was given a year’s contract to work as a practising psychiatrist with the Waikato District Health Board – a public health service provider.
Later, Mohamed Shakeel’s colleagues became suspicious about his professional behaviour and carried out their own inquiries related to his physician and surgeon’s licence (practising certificate) issued by the state of Illinois’ department of financial and professional regulation on September 13, 2012.
After they found discrepancies, police were informed and Mohamed Shakeel was arrested.
Defending his client, Mohamed Shakeel’s lawyer told media: “Siddiqui had been performing well, receiving ‘exceeds expected standard’ in most areas, including clinical knowledge, diagnostic skills, time management, recognising limits, professional knowledge, reliability and professional manner.”
Mohamed Shakeel appeared in the Hamilton District Court in New Zealand on July 25 and was remanded in custody without plea.
He reappeared this week before the court and was refused bail.
The hospital authorities, now, have more questions than answers.
“If Siddiqui wasn’t entitled to the documents, how did he get them, and how did they get past the eyes of his staff,” the report added.
The police claim that Mohamed Shakeel may have two passports.
Originally from India, Mohamed Shakeel earned his medical degree from the University of Arizona in 1992.
In 2011, he got a degree in psychiatry and neurology from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Mohamed Shakeel is also facing trial for obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception.