UK. Maritime forger voluntarily returns to Ghana Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 November 2006
MCA news:

On 7th March 2005 a seafarer made a document application to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) from his home in Ghana. The documentation would have allowed him to study in a UK Marine College.

This application was supported by a discharge book. He claimed to have sailed on a refrigerated cargo vessel however investigation showed the vessel was in fact a fishing vessel. The application was declined.

On 7th July 2006 the same Ghanaian national made another application for the same documentation. Supporting his application was a discharge book and six watch keeping certificates. He claimed to have sailed on three large bulk carriers as an Engine Room rating.

Suspicions were raised when it was noticed that several pages of the discharge book were glued together. When the pages were separated the vessel/sea time claimed in his 2005 application was found. Also found were stamps for other ships but no leaving/joining information. The six watch keeping certificates were also discovered to be fraudulent.

Contact with the Immigration Service showed that this gentleman was in the UK but had overstayed his visa. In accordance with Immigration Service requirements he regularly reported to the local Immigration Office. On one of these reporting visits he was met by a member of the MCA Enforcement Unit and Northumbria Police to discuss his application, also present was an Immigration Officer. When presented with the evidence held by the MCA this gentleman decided to withdraw from all Immigration procedures and elected to be removed from the UK as soon as possible. This occurred on Friday 3rd November 2006 and he is now back in Ghana.

Captain Jeremy Smart, Principal Enforcement Officer for the MCA,

said: "Fraudulent documentation not only raises issues about safety at sea but also concerns about their potential other use. We are constantly monitoring all applications to ensure their validity. We will work with other Agencies to ensure that the UK Seafarers Documentation system is not abused for whatever reason. I would like to thank Northumbria Police and the Immigration Service for the help and co-operation in this matter."
Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 November 2006 )
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