We were recently faced with a good number of forged equipment numbers on a stolen large yacht. The bad boys had done a very thorough job by forging all identifying numbers on board – or so they must have thought.
The boys had gone through great pains to sand off, for instance, the engine numbers on the engine bodies. These numbers are placed very inconveniently low and the boys must have used custom extensions to grinders and punches. However, bad boys often make mistakes. In this case they had simply left out the equipment stickers, displaying the same numbers a second time, at very convenient locations on top of the equipment.
The stickers would have been so easy to “replace”. How could this lapse happen? One explanation is that the boys, who had stolen the yacht, might have “subcontracted” the forging to “specialists”. The specialists must have done as requested and forged the hard numbers to good quality. The sticker forging was probably not part of their commission and thus were left out…
As the French saying goes “…Moreover, and often more difficult, one should always see what one sees.” How true! Especially for any surveyor.
Images: Cem Baykent, IAMI
Text: Dr. Yusuf Civelekoglu, CMI