It has been brought to the attention of the Association that a number of seafarers have been detained in Liverpool on charges relating to pornographic material found on personal laptops and mobile phones.
The crew members were all Philippine nationals and from two separate vessels moored in Liverpool. The offending material was a combination of both videos and photos, which were deemed to be illegal in the UK. Following an investigation it was revealed that the seafarers believed the images to be acceptable at home in the Philippines.
Despite no judgement being made yet, it is understood that all of the seafarers will be deported, leaving both ships under-manned until reliefs can be arranged, this process can be costly and very time consuming. Although this is a localised incident it may lead to an increase in customs searches in Liverpool and other UK ports.
The Association would advise members to inform crew that the importation and possession of illegal pornography is prohibited in the UK. Members should operate an internet policy onboard to prohibit crew members from downloading or accessing material that may be deemed to be illegal.
Source of information:
Hill Dickinson LLP