The man, identified in the German press as Denny H., had worked for a decade as a nurse in a hospital, receiving some success and praise. However, he decided to upgrade his pay by creating false accreditations for himself as an anesthesiologist. He worked at the German Organ Transplantation Foundation, without incident, participating in 41 operations over a span of several years. He then applied for work on an Aida vessel, successfully, and treated 1,300 people aboard in course of ten months – before he was caught.
While he falsely represented his credentials, he did not appear to have caused actual harm to patients. “We could not find that there was a treatment failure by the accused,” the judges concluded. One witness even testified that he was an exemplary ship’s doctor. However, the panel found that as a practical matter, despite his performance in providing care, he would not have been able to properly respond in the event of a complication from treatment.
Mr. H. was arrested in December after flying from Miami to Berlin to join a cruise ship; German media suggest that his cover was blown after he attempted to make a change to the name on his medical card.
Hansjörg Kunze, VP Communication at Aida Cruises, told media that after receiving a hint at the end of November 2015, “AIDA Cruises immediately contacted the police in Berlin . . . Only then we learned that investigations in this case have been going on for months already. Thanks to our support the suspect was arrested.”
Media reports indicate that his salary would have been approximately 7,500 euros per month while he served on Aida’s vessels.