A combined effort led by the Coast Guard Investigative Service and Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Miami has resulted in the arrests of foreign mariners on ships visiting Miami for using fraudulent merchant mariner licenses and training certificates.
One mariner was arrested yesterday for operating with a fictitious Columbian International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW) certificate. The individual was further determined to be an illegal alien and was turned over to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Another similar arrest occurred this morning and more are anticipated this afternoon.
"Our primary concern is maintaining waterway safety. It is imperative that only legally licensed and qualified mariners operate ships on our waters, and nothing less will be tolerated," said Lt. Cmdr. Larry Bowling, chief of marine inspection for Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Miami. "If we find additional mariners with false documents, we will take action."
"This operation reflects our continued investigative support to Marine Safety office Miami's effort to identify fraudulent merchant mariner documents
being used within their area of responsibility," said Special Agent in Charge James Devino, of the Coast Guard Investigative Service Southeast Region.
The INS office in Miami assisted with this recent success and will continue to work with the Marine Safety Office.