Almost a week after several sailors were allegedly tricked into doing oil and gas training with fake certificates issued, the Department of Maritime Administration (MARAD) has advised that MATPAL is the only academic institution authorized to conduct “Watch Training, Certification and Retention Standards”, (STCW) training in Guyana.

Accused: Simone Fortune

In a press release, MARAD said: “The requirements for recognition, organizations seeking to offer such training, are available from MARAD, and we are committed to working with all applicants to ensure that those requirements are met ”.
Guyana Times had previously reported that several sailors had responded to an advertisement for training and recruitment by an agency for an oil company in Guyana.
According to them, the school that offered the courses is based in New Amsterdam and has advertised two courses for applicants. Those courses were the Training Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Standards (STCW) and the Codi and Banksman course.
To complete the course, applicants were required to pay a total fee of $ 260,000 for both courses.

The sailors who take part in the “training” to get their certificates

Some sailors told this publication that they were doing the courses in January 2020, and at the end of the seven-day course, they were promised that they would receive their certificates in six weeks, which didn’t happen.
This is when one of the sailors went to the Department of Transport and Harbor, they realized they had been cheated. Subsequently, a report was made to Guyana Police.
Immediately after this revelation, several other people came forward claiming that they had also been deceived by the school. Those reports were made on March 13, 2020.
In fact, a total of 56 people would have been in five different classes and would have completed training after paying more than $ 150,000 each.
The sailors said they had promised that the school and its co-operative oil and gas employment agency would also find jobs for them either in the industry or offshore.
Calls were made to Panama by the sailors to inquire whether the school was authorized by them and the company said the particular school is not authorized.
The head of the school, Simone Fortune, was also contacted and revealed that all transactions with which the school / agency is involved are legal.
He added that the certificate the sailors want to be given will become useless in five years and the one he recommends to them is the only one that will be recognized soon.
The woman, who hails from East Canje, Berbice, was subsequently slapped with 17 criminal charges, and bailed in the amount of $ 40,000 on each of the charges, bringing totaling $ 680,000.
She is due to return to court on January 26.

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