The Club has been made aware of organised incidents of theft and trafficking in the Port of Alger in Algeria. A closed pier in the port experiences regular incidents of theft where containers are forced open and looted, as witnessed by the ship’s crew. It is alleged that the police officers on scene are involved in the organised crime, as their struggle with the looters appears as a “play”. The looters are escorted into a police van along with items from the containers, but return later to continue with their activities.
It is suspected that the people committing the crime are wearing identity cards and have access to the pier, yet in the name of security, immigration authorities are denying crew access to the closed pier and denying shore passes because of ‘terrorism matters’ and the presence of passenger vessels in the port.
Ships in the port also report a number of stowaway incidents where stowaways jump on board at every opportunity. It has been reported that stowaways often climb the mooring ropes and hide in cranes. Suspicious people are seen fishing through drains by ships, thought to be studying the vessel before attempting to stow on board.
Before departing, the ship should be inspected by the local police, who should be accompanied by a member of the ship’s crew. It is advisable to perform a stowaway search on a daily basis, with patrols performed at 0800 and 2000 with the changes of the guard.
Security onboard should be at an appropriate level, particularly in spaces where stowaways could hide, including funnels, pump rooms, lifeboats, and under manifolds.
Source of information:
Loss Prevention Department
UK P&I Club