A Filipino ship crew member was handed down a suspended sentence after changing the year of birth on his passport to keep working for longer on board a merchant vessel.

Fausto Gamboa, 59, admitted to the charges of altering his passport and consciously making use of it.

Due to the current suspension of Schengen rules, every vessel which docks in Malta must go through all the obligatory checks. The accused was apprehended after the vessel he worked on berthed in Malta for a crew change.

Inspector Mario Haber told the court that the accused changed his year of birth from 1954 to 1974 to fool his employer into allowing him to work for a longer period of time aboard the ship on which he served as crew member.

The accused admitted to the charges and was handed down a six-month sentence suspended for two years.

Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera presided over the case. Lawyer Simon Micallef Stafrace appeared for the accused.

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