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DFDS manager Matthew Jackson accused of stealing £20,000 in Dover

A Dover-based ferry company executive pocketed nearly £20,000 by faking company documents about passenger numbers, it has been alleged.

Deputy Manifest Officer Matthew Jackson sold tickets but then pocketed the cash from drivers arriving at the port, a jury has been told.

Prosecutor Alexia Zimbler has claimed that on more than 200 occasions he faked manifest documents - meaning had the ship gone down, the captain would not have had an accurate number of passengers.

DFDS Seaways ferry passes the White Cliffs of Dover
DFDS Seaways ferry passes the White Cliffs of Dover

Jackson, of Shorncliffe Road, Folkestone has pleaded not guilty to stealing £19,932.95 between December 31 2013 and September 2014.

He has also denied an offence of “mis-manifesting of passenger ships on 209 occasions.”

The prosecutor told the jury at Canterbury Crown Court how Jackson worked for the Danish-owned company DFDS Ferries in its drivers’ reception building in Dover.

“The Crown says this defendant accepted cash payments from passengers buying boarding tickets for the next available ship and then not declaring that money to the company but keeping it for himself.”

A DFDS Seaways ferry at Dover Harbour
A DFDS Seaways ferry at Dover Harbour

She said drivers would buy “Show and Go” tickets which would enable them to board the next available ship but would be listed as “No Show” passengers as if they had chosen not to travel.

"He was at the centre of this sophisticated, planned and repeated theft" - Prosecutor Alexia Zimbler

“In total, the prosecution submit he accepted cash payments and then altered the ship’s manifest and pocketed the cash. He was at the centre of this sophisticated, planned and repeated theft," she alleged.

Ms Zimbler alleged that a company probe showed that all the “No Show” payments were on the “B” shift and only happened when Jackson was there.

“Of all the ‘No Shows’ recorded, no customer ever approached DFDS Ferries in order to obtain a refund which we submit would have happened if they had genuinely decided not to travel at the last minute,” she added.

The prosecution said that when police checked Jackson’s bank account they discovered “several large cash payments” being deposited in the nine months, totalling nearly £20,000.

The second of the charges Jackson faces is under the Merchant Shipping Regulations of 1999 relating to ship’s manifests.

The trial continues.

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