Maritime forger removed from the UK –

Maritime forger removed from the UK Published:  10 November, 2006

A GHANAIAN national, found to be making fradulent claims has been removed from the UK.

On March 7, 2005 a seafarer made a document application to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) from his home in Ghana, which, if approved, would have allowed him to study at 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 July 7 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 he 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 he decided to withdraw from all immigration procedures and elected to be removed from the UK as soon as possible. This occurred on Friday November 3 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. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.