The union official granted $ 680,000 bail
Counterfeit oil and gas training …
Kaieteur News – Yesterday the Secretary General of the Guyana Sailors and General Workers Union (GS & GWU) was slapped with a total of 17 charges at New Amsterdam Magistrates Court.
Simone Fortune, who gave her address as East Canje, Berbice, appeared before Magistrate Renita Singh to answer the charges of false pretense.
The accused, between Friday 17th January, 2020 and Monday 20th January, 2020, in Pitt Street, New Amsterdam with intent to defraud, allegedly obtained the sum of $ 160,000 from 17 people be in a position to conduct training and issue sailor certificates.
Fortune pleaded not guilty to the charges and subsequently received $ 680,000 bail. The magistrate also ordered that her passport be issued and that she report to a police station every Friday. Fortune was represented by Attorney General Ryan Crawford and the case was adjourned until January 26, 2021.
Several people invested their money to take part in two courses advertised on a local television station in Berbice. The courses advertised were, Watch Training and Retention Certification Standards (STCW) and Lifting and Banksman courses, with a requirement of $ 260,000 to complete both courses. One course was $ 160,000 while the other was $ 100,000 and upon completion they were told by Fortune that certificates would be issued for both courses and that they would be guaranteed jobs in the oil and gas sector. All the people were trained in five batches. However, upon completion of the training, no certificates were issued and they were given the royal run to obtain them.
On the signboard located on a building in Pitt Street where some of the training took place, Fortune listed as Secretary General of the GS & GWU. Based on the information provided by the course participants, Fortune led the training under the Inland and Offshore Recruitment and Clearing Agency (IORCA) and in January advertised training for the courses.
Five batches were trained and of the first two batches, a few received certificates, but those were fake. The others received nothing. After the individuals realized they might have been cheated, they decided to file a report at the Central Police Station and a probe was launched.