Promised bodyguard jobs didn't exist

Last updated 18:41 30/11/2012

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An Auckland-based bodyguard training camp has been closed down after it was discovered its claims over United Nation’s contracts were misleading, Television New Zealand reported.

Elite Protection International claimed to have a Unicef bodyguard contract and trained 31 people at its base in a holiday camp on the North Shore.

TVNZ said it was run by a Wes Jawad with people paying up to $5000 for the camp.

He had told trainees they would get employment in Russia at the end of the course.

"We would be looking after kids, orphanage kids," trainee Herman Loto Sokaria told TVNZ’s OneNews.

"Being security for them while they are in transaction from the orphanages to the schools so that they wouldn't get kidnapped by sex traffickers."

Unicef told TVNZ it was "absolutely untrue". The UN agency does not supply security for orphanages.

Course trainer Mike Quinton, who runs a British company specialising in close protection training, briefly taught at the camp but he said he quickly realised something was not right.

"Alarm bells started ringing within two weeks of being here, it just got louder as the days went on," he said.

Video footage of the trainees shows them using look-a-like handguns at the holiday camp base, prompting two call-outs by the police Armed Offenders Squad.

"This is not a training facility, the people that we are training at the moment are going out to do armed roles in a foreign country where there's a real threat. They have no weapons experience," Quinton said.

Trainees are demanding their money back.

"We have people who have sold their houses and put everything into storage on the premise of leaving for Russia on the 22nd of December," said Quinton.

When questioned in front of ONE News cameras Jawad told the trainees he had wanted to take them to Russia, and has promised he will pay them back their training fee tomorrow.

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- Fairfax Media

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