Former MSAF staff investigated for fraud
March 15, 2021 5:53 pm
Two former Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji staff are being investigated for their alleged involvement in obtaining and issuing fraudulent qualifications.
This did not follow the correct process for approval and issue.
The MSAF in a statement says early investigations indicate that two previous MSAF staff had obtained fraudulent qualifications.
One was approved by the former MSAF Acting chief executive after he had relinquished his role in November 2019.
MSAF has called for independent overseas investigators to assist with probing serious instances of international maritime qualification fraud.
MSAF has also referred this matter to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption and briefed the line Minister.
MSAF has moved quickly to revoke fraudulent qualifications and alerted flag states with a view to detecting other possible cases, while also validating legitimate qualifications.
The fraud came to light during an internal review in January under the direction of new MSAF chief executive, Simon Gravenall.
Given the gravity of the matter, Gravenall has requested that independent maritime experts from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and Maritime New Zealand assist MSAF and FICAC with exhausting investigations into the matter.
He says moving forward, a priority for MSAF is ensuring there are no further cases.
He adds at this stage there is no indication anyone obtaining a certificate from the Fiji Maritime Academy is affected.
Gravenall believes the matters appear to be opportunistic within MSAF.