Berlin police have pounced on a 40-year-old cruise ship employee who has impersonated a doctor for years and treated hundreds of passengers.
In an article titled ‘Fake Doctor Treated Hundreds of Cruise Passengers,’ German newspaper Aftenposten revealed the man had been arrested in Germany after flying from Miami to join an AIDA cruise ship. AIDA ships are distinguished by having a huge pair of lips painted on the bow.
The bogus doctor had been working on cruise ships in the Caribbean, after falsifying documents in order to claim that he was medically qualified to practice as a physician, according to maritime lawyer Jim Walker’s Cruise Law News. The impostor had trained as a nurse but somehow managed to work as a ship’s doctor for five years, German papers say.
Another German newspaper, Berliner Morgenpost, reported that the bogus doctor falsely claimed that specialise in anaesthesia and intensive care.
Carnival-owned AIDA Cruises offered no explanation as to how it had come to hire someone with no medical school education or credentials, Cruise Law News says. Jim Walker argues that the bogus doctor could have “potentially compromised the heath and well-being of hundreds of passengers and crew members. This also raises the issue whether adequate background checks were performed on other cruise employees”.
According to the Daily Mail, the fake doctor had been working for AIDA Cruises since 2014 and was being paid a monthly salary of around EUR 7500 euros (AUD 10,380).
The Mail carried the following statement from Hansjörg Kunze, vice president communication at AIDA Cruises:
“End of November 2015, after receiving a hint, AIDA Cruises immediately contacted the police in Berlin.
“Only then we learned that investigations in this case have been going on for months already.
“AIDA Cruises immediately suspended the man and actively cooperated with the authorities. Thanks to our support the suspect was arrested on German ground on Friday morning, December 4, 2015.
“As a matter of course we are verifying the CVs of our applicants thoroughly.”
Written by Peter Needham