How to Avoid Frauds in Merchant Navy?

Merchant Navy Frauds are the Biggest SCAM business going on in Indian Market right now.

Merchant Navy has become one of the Most sought after profession in India. Most of the students after passing out from school look up to Merchant Navy as their prospective career option.

But the problem is that most of these students are not fully aware of this profession and are usually Misguided and Exploited by the Greedy Agents, some fake institutes and agencies and become a prey of the ongoing fraud in merchant navy.

Merchant Navy frauds are indeed a significant concern in the Indian market at present. These scam involves fraudulent individuals or organizations posing as recruiters or agents for the Merchant Navy, exploiting unsuspecting individuals who aspire to join the Maritime industry.

How Merchant Navy Scams – Frauds Happen?

These scams typically operate by promising lucrative job opportunities in the Merchant Navy, attracting vulnerable candidates who are eager to pursue a career at sea. The fraudsters often use various deceptive tactics, such as creating fake websites, forging documents, and presenting themselves as authorized representatives of reputable shipping companies.

Once the victims are enticed, they are asked to pay substantial sums of money as application fees, processing fees, training fees, or for the issuance of fraudulent certificates and documents. In some cases, the scammers even organize sham training programs, which further swindle the victims of their hard-earned money.

Unfortunately, many individuals fall prey to these scams due to their lack of awareness and the allure of high-paying jobs in the Merchant Navy. These frauds not only result in financial losses for the victims but also shatter their dreams and aspirations.

To protect oneself from such scams, it is crucial to exercise caution and undertake thorough research before engaging with any recruitment agency or training institute. Verifying the authenticity of the organization, cross-checking their credentials, and contacting the relevant maritime authorities can help in identifying potential fraudsters.

Additionally, it is advisable to be skeptical of any demands for upfront payments or requests for personal and financial information without proper verification. Genuine recruitment processes in the Merchant Navy typically involve rigorous screenings, interviews, and medical examinations, rather than solely relying on Monetary transactions.

Raising awareness about these scams is essential to prevent others from falling victim to such fraudulent activities. By educating individuals about the modus operandi of these scams and promoting transparency and accountability in the recruitment process, we can collectively work towards curbing this alarming issue and safeguarding the aspirations and finances of aspiring seafarers.

Tips to Avoid Frauds in Merchant Navy?

1. Be aware of Fake Websites, Fraud Ads

If you search on Google How to join Merchant navy, your result page will be filled with advertisements of random maritime colleges around the country promising 100% placement. They will use really catchy lines such as “Join now to earn 100,000 Rs per month onboard ship.”. You might even find pamphlets or brochures of such advertisements in stationery shops. Always remember that reputed colleges/institutes never advertise themselves. Think before you get influenced by these fake promises offered by random websites which are usually run by the frauds in merchant navy. 

It is really very important to start your journey in Merchant navy with the right shipping company. It provides you the platform to pursue a successful career at sea. On the other hand, joining the wrong company or getting involved with fraud agents can ruin your prospects of pursuing a career at sea. Therefore, you need to be really cautious and careful before making up your mind to join any maritime college/institute. 

2. Choose the Correct Stream or Course & Be 100% Sure about it

If you are planning to join merchant navy you should be well informed about the Stream or course which you are planning to join.

Sometimes people who are not that well aware of the maritime sector end up pursuing the wrong course and later regret it when they Realise they were eligible for much better courses. Especially candidates from rural areas are tricked into joining GP Rating colleges and are asked 3-4 Lakhs by Agents/Fake Colleges. They are given false promises that they will become an officer/captain in 4–5 years, which is baseless, fraud and BULLSHIT!!!!

I know people will tell you that you can become Officer by doing GP Rating but sooner or later they realize that the reality is quite different and it is extremely Impossible nowadays to do so (Because of High Flooding of Cadets in the Market by Colleges) so just think Why would a company Recruit a Rating as an Officer if they’re getting a Cadet who is trained like a Officer for 18 months at Sea.

So, make sure you’re more than PCM 60% with English 60% and check out Eligibility Criteria and choose your Stream Accordingly

3. Follow the Proper Procedure

Don’t try to enter the Merchant Navy by taking shortcuts. To pursue the appropriate course, follow the correct approach. If you wish to choose a diploma in nautical science, a BSc in nautical science, a in marine engineering, etc., take the IMU-CET Exam (Which is mandatory National Common Eligibility Test) and attempt to acquire the best score you can. 

Improve your technical knowledge and communication abilities while attempting to secure sponsorship from a reputable shipping company. Always keep in mind that universities with minimal conditions for qualifying typically do not care about the placement of their students. Therefore, aim to get into the nation’s top Maritime universities, which are highly selective in their admissions process.

4. Join a Good College ONLY

Join a Good College ONLY after reading Point No. 5 (Get Sponsorship from a Shipping Company Before Joining a Course)

Gone are the days when Shipping companies used to recruit huge number of cadets so make sure you’re doing your Selected courses from Top Reputed Maritime colleges only for a Safe and secure Job placements after course completion.

Make sure you carry out proper and detailed research before making up your mind to Join any Maritime college or Institute. Joining the correct college/company is the most important step towards a successful career at sea. If you get selected by an good shipping company/college then there is no looking back and your transition from college to working onboard ships will be very smooth and hassle-free.  

Therefore, carry out thorough research about the placement record of the maritime college you are planning to join. You can get the best idea by interacting with the students currently studying in that particular college. strongly Suggests you to do your DNS/ B.Sc Nautical Science or GME from Top Maritime colleges only and Strongly recommends to Have a Company sponsorship before joining a college which Guarantees you a Job

Always remember that the maritime institutes and the courses must be DG Shipping and Indian Maritime University approved.

5. Get Sponsorship from a Shipping Company Before Joining a Course

Sponsorship in the Merchant Navy means that you have been promised by a company that upon completion of your pre-sea course you will be trained on-board their ship and provided placement where you are also entitled to receive a stipend during your training period.

For example, In India, if you are undergoing 1 Year D.N.S (Diploma in Nautical Science), then it is mandatory to complete 18 months of training onboard ship to be eligible for some courses and to appear for 2nd Mate C.O.C examinations conducted by M.M.D, D.G Shipping, Govt. of India. So, for that 18 months of training, you need to find a company and for the D.N.S course, it has to be done before the course starts.

The process of getting sponsored generally includes the following steps:

  • Apply for Sponsorship with a good company and appear for their Assessment, Interview, and medical tests which you have to pass.
  • Apply for IMU-CET and obtain cutoff marks. IMU-CET is mandatory while you are applying for DNS, B.Sc in Nautical Science, and B.Tech in Marine Engineering. 
  • After obtaining the sponsorship, you can Complete your Pre-sea training at a college affiliated with your company.

6. Avoid Agents/Agencies

As mentioned earlier try to get selected by an above-average shipping company or maritime institute so that you never have to rely on an agent for providing you with a job. Try to avoid getting involved with agents as they will only rob you of your family’s hard-earned money without providing a proper job.

They are one of the biggest frauds in merchant navy. In case you are struggling to find a job and there is no other option other than approaching an agent, then do it at your own Risk and don’t Cry after losing your hard earned money.

Although, we would not recommend you to get involved even with an RPSL-approved agency or agent. Even they can cheat candidates just for the sake of money. According to the Maritime Labour Convention Act and DG Shipping, a candidate cannot be charged for onboard training from a company or agency.  

History of Merchant Navy Placements & Present Scope

The maritime industry used to be a thriving sector a decade ago. During that time there was a shortage of marine officers. Merchant navy was an isolated profession and not many people were aware of it. Hence there was a high demand for trained seafarers around the world, however, the supply was really less. To combat this problem many shipping companies established their own training institutes in the country and started recruiting hundreds of cadets every year.

During this time there were many unauthorized maritime colleges that opened their gates for aspiring seafarers but could not provide placement after course completion. Every year thousands of aspiring seafarers found themselves jobless after course completion. This gave rise to many scams and fraudulent agents in the Indian maritime sector. 

These fraud agents/companies took advantage of the students who were going through the lowest phase of their lives as they could not find a job even after paying lakhs of rupees to their respective maritime institutes. Today merchant navy is one of the most sought-after professions in the country. However, sadly the job opportunities in this field are not the same as they were a decade ago. The jobs are really fewer while the supply of trained seafarers is really high.  

This is one of the reasons why these fraud agents and colleges still continue to thrive in our country. There are thousands of aspiring seafarers every year who struggle to find a job after course completion. These desperate candidates are willing to pay any amount of money in order to get placed on board ships. However, by getting involved with agents they dig a deeper hole for themselves. In this blog, we are going to list some ways through which you can save yourself from getting robbed by these frauds in merchant navy.                                                                                

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