Sister publication of Gulf News wins KCK International Award for Excellence for exposé on ISO racket
Dubai: XPRESS has won the won the prestigious Karpoor Chandra Kulish (KCK) International Award for Excellence (Merit) in Print Journalism, for its cover story ‘We are a bogus firm yet we got an ISO certificate’.
The award will be conferred to XPRESS editor Mazhar Farooqui in New Delhi, India, on September 17, award organisers Rajasthan Patrika Group of Newspapers announced on Thursday.
On February 16, 2017, XPRESS had reported how the much sought after ISO 9001: 2015 certificate can be bought in the UAE by anyone who is able to pay for it.
Two XPRESS journalists, including Farooqui, posed as directors of the non-existent firm VDH and approached a Dubai-based accredited agency authorised to issue ISO certificates in the country.
All the journalists had to do was provide them a copy of VDH’s trade licence, an email address, phone number and Dh4,000 in cash. Less than 36 hours later, they had the certificate in their hands.
The accredited agency even gave the undercover journalists an exhaustive audit report detailing how their officers ‘assessed VDH’s operations at their facility and found it to be compliant with ISO standards on various parameters’.
Following the exposé, Dubai Municipality’s Dubai Accreditation Centre (DAC) withdrew the accreditation of the company which issued the certificate.
This is second time that XPRESS has bagged the KCK award. In 2014, Farooqui received the award for his investigative story ‘I am an Idiot, Yet I am Hired’ which blew the lid off an elaborate recruitment racket in the UAE.