Yemen’s ambassador in Egypt, Mohamed Marem, was accused of corruption and “stealing” government scholarships of Yemeni students to give to “his friends’” children, Yemeni media reported.
Fatima Hajar, who received a 99.7 percent average grade from school, arrived in Cairo after receiving a government scholarship to study medicine in Egypt, but found out that Marem had given her place to the daughter of one of his diplomatic friends, activists reported.
Four similar cases of students who had their government scholarships stolen were also reported, the activists added.
The corruption scandal caused an outcry among the Yemeni community and lead to an official announcement from the Yemeni government that the allegations would be investigated.
Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed also instructed the ministers of Higher Education and Foreign Affairs to complete the admission procedures of the students who have had their scholarships taken.
The prime minister also directed the two ministries to promptly open an investigation within the embassy in Cairo.
The official statement from the government confirmed that the Yemeni embassy in Cairo had taken five scholarships from top students and awarded them to other students who were close to embassy staff.
The Ministry of Higher Education has denounced the embassy in Egypt for giving the students scholarships - awarded by the ministry - to other students, and outside the ministry’s approval.
The ministry noted that it would not hesitate to take any appropriate legal action in cases of violation to preserve the interests of students.
Activists and journalists have previously accused Marem of involvement in corruption during his post in Egypt.