NBI sues 12 over Marina papers leak

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
NBI sues 12 over Marina papers leak
The security papers were used to print the seafarers’ certificates of competency, endorsement and proficiency.

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed charges against 12 persons allegedly behind the leak of 2,411 confidential security papers that went missing from the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and were sold for P15,000 each, in yet another case of documents being leaked to training centers preying on aspiring seafarers.

The NBI’s anti-graft division, in a complaint obtained by The STAR, named eight Marina employees – including former administrators Marcial Amaro III and Maximo Mejia Jr. – as well as three Fremarobi Skills Development Center officials for the leak of 2,411 security papers in 2015 that were used to manufacture fake certificates sold to seafarers for P3,000 to P15,000 each.

The complaint was filed with the Office of the Ombudsman on March 27.

The security papers were used to print the seafarers’ certificates of competency, endorsement and proficiency.

The leak was made possible after Marina information technology personnel Christian Daus admitted to the NBI that he installed Marina’s virtual private network  in one of Fremarobi’s computers so that the firm could process the certificates of proficiency using the stolen security papers, according to the complaint.

“Fremarobi was able to illegally issue 443 certificates to seafarers for a fee by illegally accessing Marina database in conspiracy with the employees of said agency,” according to the complaint signed by the NBI Deputy Director for Investigative Service Vicente de Guzman III.

Daus admitted to receiving P800,000, or P500 for each certificate issued to seafarers, the NBI said.  Daus was introduced to Fremarobi officials by a former Marina printing clerk, Jhavee Dizon.

Marina employees Marie Mae de Guzman and Dianne Joyce Acosta were also indicted for being accountable for the missing 2,411 security papers, 443 of which were used by Fremarobi to manufacture spurious certificates for a fee.

The Marina employees were recommended charged with revelation of secrets and removal, concealment or destruction of documents, all punishable under the Revised Penal Code, for aiding the data breach. Daus faces additional charges of swindling and bribery.

Fremarobi owners Margarita Lourdes Molina, Rona Domingo and Ron Domingo were all indicted for corruption of public officials and swindling for persuading Daus to help them with the data breach.

Former Marina administrators Amaro and Mejia, as well as Marina certification division chief Arthur Miñon, were recommended charged for their failure to protect the missing security papers and for failing to investigate the leak.

NBI officials said they will leave it to the ombudsman to indict the accused on additional cybercrime charges.

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