The Club would like to bring to the attention of Members a circular recently received detailing the alleged fraudulent activities of a team of journalists, customs officials and other officials in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
The Club has recently been notified of several similar claims which in each case has involved a last minute demand of a cash payment as compensation for fender damages allegedly caused by ships using berths at Alexandria and El Deikhela. We understand that ships entered in other Clubs have also been affected.
The Club would like to make Members aware of a smuggling operation that has put containers with incorrect/conflicting identification marks into circulation. This commences with a request for the release of an empty container (container A) which is then stuffed with the goods to be smuggled. The bill of lading and other documents relating to the container are prepared to suggest a different cargo inside. The container is then shipped to a transit port.
A Panama-flagged vessel laden with 12,000 cubic meters of illegal logs was recently seized by the water police off Sorong, unearthing one of the biggest cases of timber smuggling ever discovered – at a value at more than US$1 billion. It has been made public by two non-governmental organisations (NGOs), who also accused Indonesian military and government officials of being involved.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has recently issued a new circular (Port Marine Circular No 25 of 2004) relating to the limits of dangerous goods allowed on board vessels berthing at its quays.
It is often asked whether or not a lien can be exercised over cargo in Spain as it is one of the shipowner’s most useful tools in many jurisdictions, whether to secure freight, salvage security or any other debt.