Rising fraud as more seafarers pay brokers for jobs

photo 2024 07 05 15 46 48
A free basic deck seafarer training course No (1) provided at the Myanmar Seafarers Federation, Yangon, on 23 June.

Since more seafarers are finding jobs by paying illegal brokerage fees, there have been more scam cases in the industry, Captain Soe Min Aung, president of the Myanmar Seafarers Federation (MSF), told The Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM).
“The number of seafarers who went abroad by giving brokerage to the brokers like overseas workers has increased a lot. When there are 100 applicants for only ten vacancies, they assume that they might need to pay for jobs. There have been many transactions. And the number of scammers has also increased. The victims are not in one or two digits, but in hundreds,” he said.
Brokerage fees range from US$2,000 to US$4,000 for new sailors, and those who have paid will have to wait for employment.
“The slang word for payment of brokerage by seafarers is ‘Yikekyay’ (upfront money) in Myanmar. They ask for $2,000, $2,500 or $4,000 from a new seafarer. Another point is that some sailors often run away at the port in the destination country, so they are afraid to hire new sailors.
Such cases of desertion at the port have a negative impact on all the other seafarers. They no longer believe in new sailors. So, they are reluctant to employ new sailors,” he said.
Therefore, the recruitment of new sailors has decreased, and there have been losses due to scams. MSF offers advice and support to those who report scams. – MT/ZN/ED

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