Maritime Corruption: A 1499 Decree Legalizes Schemes for the Sale of Educational Diplomas and Extortions from Sailors?
According to industry representatives, the adoption by the Cabinet of Ministers of Resolution No. 1499 actually legalizes fraud and shadow schemes in the field of certifying seafarers
Settlement of issues of educational certification of captains of ships or the destruction of the system of maritime education in Ukraine? Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers No. caused a significant public outcry and caused extremely negative feedback from industry workers. According to the maritime community, the document, one of the inspirers of which is called the odious Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Vaskov, opens a wide “window of opportunity” for corrupt officials of various kinds.
According to StopKor, during martial law, blocking ports and blocking waterways in Ukraine, the maritime industry was shaken by a series of high-profile scandals. In December 2022, the SBU detained a well-known maritime activist and blogger in Odessa Kristina Korol : according to media, she is suspected of organizing a shady scheme for conscripted draft dodgers to travel abroad and establishing a system of extortion from sailors. And the corruption chain stretches to high offices. In particular, the names Valeriy Postolatiy , head of the so-called Training Center for Maritime Transport Specialists, and Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Yuriy Vaskov .
December 30, 2022 against this background The Cabinet of Ministers adopted Decree No. 1499 "Some issues of conferring ranks to officers of sea vessels", which approved the new Regulation on the rank of officers of sea vessels and the procedure for their assignment. One of the ideologists of this controversial document ;name namely, Deputy Minister Vaskov.
After the journalistic investigation " StopKora " in the Korol case and the disclosure of some details of the “white ticket” sale scheme; Andrey Marchenko . (OSM) – professional commentary on the scandalous ruling and its possible consequences for the Ukrainian maritime industry.
According to the interlocutor of “StopKor”, before the entry into force of Decree No. 1499, the system of educational certification of seafarers in Ukraine worked in an electronic format online, which made it impossible for fakes, any fraud and shadow schemes in the process of certifying seafarers, and also provided an opportunity for seafarers in conditions of limited movement. receive your qualification documents.
But the new Regulation actually again translates the exams into “paper” form and establishes that “the length of service of captains and officers of ships of coastal navigation, ships sailing exclusively in protected waters, and fishing vessels within five years from the date of entry into force of this resolution may be confirmed by other than the sailor's service record, documents: certificates of sailing, certificates of employment or employment records”.
What does this mean for seafarers?
“ From now on, it is not known who: people without experience, without relevant knowledge – they will take an exam from me, a captain with vast experience, at their own discretion. Is it like that? Again for huge bribes in the pockets of officials? Where are the law enforcement agencies looking? Maybe someone will tell you why someone decided that a full-fledged higher education is no longer needed for captains, chief engineers? ” – the sailor comments.
He noted that similar manipulations in the field of certification have already been carried out in Georgia in the past and, as a result, cost this country dearly: for several years in a row, not a single maritime working document issued by Georgia was recognized in the world. This led to an outflow of Georgian sailors to other countries where they received the working papers.
More one small note. It is very worrying that some countries, in particular Poland, are already introducing opportunities for our seafarers to graduate without passing exams and receive foreign qualification documents. This will certainly lead to the loss of seafarers by Ukraine and, as a result , loss of foreign exchange earnings, destruction of crewing companies, educational institutions, etc. I want to calmly finish my retirement, but with such an attitude from the state towards seafarers, this will most likely remain only in my desires », – adds the captain.
Note that all these “experiments” occur at a time when our country is suffering from Russian aggression and is in dire need of financial support from the maritime industry. However, the desire of individual businessmen to cash in here and now may cost the country the loss of billions in budget revenues in the near future.
Recall that Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Yuri Vaskov, who is believed to have had a hand in the adoption of the dubious decree No. 1499, recently “lit up” in another scandal related to raiding The ex-wife of an official, Maria Kovilina, with the support of a private security structure, is trying to take away an office space in the center of Odessa from the spouses of pensioners: Odessa residents are threatened with forceful actions and influential connections.