Ex-Marina employee arrested for faking legal certificates
MANILA, Philippines – A former employee of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), who was allegedly involved in faking legal certificates, has been arrested by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents in Manila.
NBI Director Dante Gierran identified the suspect as Malone Morales, a two-year employee of the Marina under the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW)-Surveillance Division.
Morales was arrested during an entrapment operation conducted last Dec. 7 in Ermita, Manila.
Gierran said that the arrest against Morales stemmed from a complaint received by the bureau. According to the complainant, Morales demanded P20,000 in exchange for the Certificate of Proficiency in Navigation.
Marina Officer-in-Charge Vice-Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr said Morales was allegedly behind the fake signatures of Marina officials.
“Mr. Malone Morales, 28, a former Marina personnel for two years is allegedly behind the faking of Marina official signatures on the legal certificates needed for the processing and issuance of certificates under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCWO) for seafarers 1978, as amended,” he said at a press conference on Monday.
“Early this year, he was terminated after his alleged involvement in the leakage of questions and answers of marine officers licensure examination was exposed,” he added.
According to Vingson, Morales charges his victims the amount ranging from P10,000 to P20,000 for each legal clearance.
Vingson also said that other Marina employees were involved in the processing fake legal documents.
However, Morales accomplices are still under further observation before they could be arrested.
Morales, meanwhile, is currently and will remain under the custody of the NBI.
“May this incident serve as a warning to the public that the Marina is committed to cleaning its system and will never waver in its campaign against these kinds of illegal activities, including graft and corruption against its officials and employees, covering all processes and operations of its service units,” Vingson said.
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