A recruitment firm who offered ex-servicemen oil industry jobs are at the centre of a fraud probe.
Offshore People Ltd promised former military personnel lucrative posts in the North Sea oil and gas industry.
But customers claim they were duped into paying inflated prices for medical examinations and training courses for non-existent work.
Emails have now been sent to former clients saying the firm, run by director Nicholas Rothe, are going into liquidation. And police say they are investigating.
The Ministry of Defence have issued a warning about the company and job site Reed have banned them.
OPL placed ads with the Government-backed Career Transition Partnership, who help veterans find work.Australian Cameron Higgle, who lives in Edinburgh and served in the Navy, went to an interviewwith the firm in May.
The 36-year-old said: “I was told I had to pay £1775 to do courses and a medical.
I asked why they were so expensive compared to other operators.
”Offshore People charged Cameron £495 for his examination, £985 for the firm’s “sea survival certificate” and £285 fora minimum industry safety training certificate (MIST).
He added: “When I contacted another firm, they told me it would cost £690 for the MIST course with a further £80 for my helicopter escape training and £80-£100 for a medical.
That’s all I needed. It’s a difference of almost £1000.
”Veteran Danny Jackson, who served in Afghanistan, applied to the firm after spotting an advert on the CTP website.
The 25-year-old said: “I took a £2000 loan for the courses and medical.
I’ve got no real hope of seeing my money again.”Another veteran was promised work but no job ever materialised.
The 22-year-old ex-Royal Signals driver said: “I paid £1695 and I had to get a £495 medical.
The nurse told me the medical only cost £90.”Kevin Forbes, of recruitment website Oil and Gas People, said they have been contacted by more than 30 people who had dealings with OPL.Kevin Rosser, of the charity Safer Jobs, who support job seekers and protect them from abuse, said they had been contacted by at least 25 people and passed on their details to national reporting centre Action Fraud.
Cheshire constabulary yesterday confirmed an inquiry was under way.
An MOD spokesman said: “As soon as we identified that OPL were conducting potentially fraudulent activity, we removed their courses from our site and informed Action Fraud.
”Rothe did not respond to our requests for a comment.