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Fake Firearms Certificates
Spurred by an alert from an exmaster mariner from Pune, Navi Mumbai police have arrested the 66-year-old principal- cum-director of the Vashi-based CAMA Belize Maritime Institute, for allegedly cheating an ex-serviceman by giving him a certificate stating that he has been trained in handling of the AK-47 and SLR firearms, while in reality, no such training had been provided.
The principal has been identified as Captain Partho Das, head of CAMA Belize, the designated office of the main institute IMMARBE-Belize, based out of Belize in Central America.
A complaint in this regard was registered by ex-serviceman Santoshkumar Vasudevan, who had paid Rs 7,500 to the institute as he wanted to work as security on ships, for which he wished for certification.
The Pune-based ex-master mariner Captain Deepak Divekar — who also consults for privately contracted maritime security companies worldwide to provide anti-pirate solutions —said that last week, Vasudevan had come to him to seek guidance on how to get a job in security in the industry.
While checking his credentials, Divekar found that he had been issued a certificate on how to handle weapons like the AK-47 (7.62 mm bore) and SLR (7.62 mm bore) in the 300-metre range. “However, as per Indian laws, civilian possession of an AK-47 is illegal. I became suspicious,” Divekar said, adding, “I asked Vasudevan to give me the address of the place he procured the certificate from, and how much he had paid for it. To buy some time, I asked him to get a medical certificate before helping him further.”
Divekar then called higher-ups in the police to inform them about what he had come across.
Senior police inspector Kalamboli police station, Bajirao Mohite, told Mirror that they then detained Vasudevan and inquired about the issue. In the course of the inquiry, it was found that he had not been provided such training, and was merely issuing the certificate. He said, “When we enquired with the institute, the director said they had mentioned the word ‘training’ by ‘mistake’, adding that they did not actually provide training with any such weapon.”
Mohite added that they will be trying to seek details from the directorgeneral of Shipping, which comes under the Transport Ministry, on whether this institute is approved or not. “So far, we have lodged a case of cheating under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the institute, as it did not give training on how to handle the AK-47 and other weapons, but issued certificates stating that such training has been provided, as well as charged fees for the same,” he said.
Knight Associates reiterates to shipping companies who contract the armed guards of Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC), of the vital importance of conducting a full due diligence on guards deployed to their vessels.
Read more about Knight Associates Maritime Security (MarSec) services here
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Source: Pune Mirror