A Brief Introducing to Global Marine Investigators (GMI)

Its Mission, Objectives, Activities and Structure

Global Marine Investigators (GMI) is a non-profit international organization dedicated to combating marine theft and insurance fraud.

1. GMI’s Mission

GMI’s mission is to develop and provide high levels of training to law enforcement officers, insurance investigators, and other marine professionals. GMI facilitates networking of both public agencies and the marine industry in order to combat marine theft, arson, fraud and other criminal activity in the international marine environment.

2. GMI’s Objectives

GMI operates on strictly non-profit basis. The objectives of GMI are, in summary, to:

  • Promote the prevention and suppression of marine crime including: Cross-border sea crime, cargo crime, piracy, smuggling, trafficking, terrorism and theft of marine property.
  • Provide training upon boat safety issues, vessel accident prevention and environmental protection.
  • Provide a platform to unite marine professionals.
  • Provide a forum for the exchange of information concerning marine investigations and related topics of interest.
  • Encourage mutual cooperation between law enforcement agencies, marine organizations and associated industries.
  • Accumulate and disseminate information of interest to members.
  • Develop and disseminate educational materials to conduct marine investigations.
  • Provide marine investigative training.
  • Address issues that interfere with the administration of justice.

3. History of GMI and of IAMI-Europe

The concept of IAMI began in 1986 when Major Dave MacGillis of the Florida Marine Patrol organized and published the Vessel Theft Investigators National Roster. The roster was intended to assist investigators to combat marine theft, a high profit, low risk crime that was out of control. This was achieved by providing an inter-state platform for networking between various agencies involved in marine theft investigations. The initial roster contained the names of nearly three hundred law enforcement, insurance industry, and marine community representatives who had agreed to provide assistance in the investigation of marine theft, insurance fraud, or title fraud cases.

In 1989, the first three-day training seminar was held in New Orleans, LA. The following year, 1990, the National Association of Marine Investigators (NAMI) was formed. As NAMI grew, its membership increased both nationally and internationally.

In 1990 Martin Åberg from Sweden became a member of the then NAMI (National Association of Marine Investigators) in the USA. He was the first member from Europe. Later Martin would serve IAMI’s community as President.

Soon, a small team had formed in Europe. Together they started to work for a “European NAMI” – or rather an International Association of Marine Investigators (IAMI). In 1994 NAMI became “IAMI”.

In 1998 IAMI Europe held its first annual training seminar in Southampton, in the United Kingdom. Ever since, and without interruption, IAMI Europe had a training seminar each year. These seminars have been held at many locations throughout  Europe including – to name a few places – Hamburg, Liege, Stockholm, Lignano, Rotterdam, Mallorca, Dubrovnik, Cork, Ibiza, Tallinn, Riga, Malta and Athens.

As can be seen, IAMI tries to spread the training seminars all over Europe so we can reach more delegates. In the last few years we have had an attendance of between 60 to 90 delegates each year.

Year after year, the European Steering Committee has brought together representatives from all over Europe. Exceptional support from the Law Enforcement community has significantly contributed to this marvelous international collaboration.

In 2018, following the request of the European members, the European branch of the association rebranded itself into GMI – the Global Marine Investigators.

Today GMI is a European association, duly established by Dutch law and seated in the Netherlands.

The association have had very good support from the law enforcement community since its inception, enabling a great international collaboration. Its members, like one large family, which is what GMI is after all, always have a great time during their meetings, while immersing themselves in training seminars with very interesting agendas.

The association have had very good support from the law enforcement community since its inception, enabling a great international collaboration. Its members, like one large family, which is what GMI is after all, always have a great time during their meetings, while immersing themselves in training seminars with very interesting agendas.

4. Training provided by GMI

The goal of GMI seminars is to provide educational information to marine police, marine surveyors and insurance professionals, and at the same time, to create and deepen the trust and bond of the participants.

Each year GMI holds  a two-day seminar. The training is open to law enforcement, insurance investigators, Coast Guard officials, and other marine agencies and professionals. Examples of the topics covered are:

  • Marine theft and recovery
  • Hull number identification and fraud
  • Accident investigations
  • Fire/arson investigations
  • Investigation of sunken vessels
  • Invoicing frauds
  • Outboard and inboard serial numbers
  • Gaining and dissemination of intelligence
  • Bank and insurance fraud investigations
  • Updates on regulations and policies
  • Admiralty law
  • Interpol

5. Certification provided by GMI

The CMI – Certified Marine Investigator Plan is a certification program ensuring that the title holder has qualifications in various aspects of marine investigation – among others in marine terminology, fire investigation, forensic photography, investigative techniques, admiralty law and insurance fraud.

6. Networking

Worldwide inter-agency networking is one of the great benefits of GMI.

By bringing people together GMI facilitates breaking down barriers to communications (in particular international communications) and bringing ideas together and discussing solutions.

Due to domestic and international discords, and due to separations between state agencies and private sectors, boat owners, banks, insurers, and eventually the entire international public are affected.

Small vessels can slip through state and international borders without much hindrance and without causing much stir and fuss. This is to the benefit of those who profit from smuggling people, drugs and weapons.

7. Membership

GMI offers a variety of memberships to eligible persons interested in its objectives:

The Personal Membership (Law Enforcement) is available to representatives of municipal, county, state, federal, national, or international law enforcement agencies. Vessel registering officials and titling authorities are also eligible.

Private marine investigators, surveyors, insurance investigators and marine industry representatives as well as retired law enforcement officers are encouraged to apply for a Personal Membership (Non-Law Enforcement).

New applicants may be sponsored by a GMI member in good standing or, may apply directly to the Steering Committee. Membership is subject to approval by the Steering Committee.

In addition to the Personal Membership, an Agency Membership is available and encouraged for interested agencies and companies – both Law Enforcement and Non-Law Enforcement.

Few Lifetime Membership positions are available to exceptional contributors to the association over extended time.


Dr. Yusuf Civelekoğlu, CMI
Chairperson – Global Marine Investigators