‘Corrupt ship inspectors demand our meals and cargo’ | EUROtoday

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Seafarers have advised the BBC port officers routinely demand money, cigarettes, foods and drinks as bribes earlier than permitting ships by means of.

So-called “gratuities” are in opposition to worldwide anti-corruption legal guidelines. But the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network mentioned it acquired 5,183 experiences in 2023.

The International Association of Ports and Harbours is working to deal with it.

Ex-captain Stephen Gudgeon mentioned he was as soon as held at gunpoint after refusing handy over cigarettes at a port in Asia.

“They took me ashore at gunpoint and I was locked up. I was photographed and fingerprinted, and I was interviewed by two officials in an empty room with just a chair, which I was locked into,” he advised the BBC.

“And it was when they said to me, ‘Would you like us to inform your family of your detention?’ that I really got quite worried.”

Mr Gudgeon mentioned ultimately he was launched with a $1,500 (£1,200) wonderful to pay for paperwork irregularities, which he believed have been spurious and in retaliation for not handing over the cigarettes. The BBC has been unable to succeed in the ports authority in query to ask in regards to the allegations.

The MACN advised the BBC it had acquired 61,000 experiences in additional than 1,000 ports throughout 150 nations because it opened an nameless helpline in 2011.

Cecilia Muller Torbrand, the pinnacle of the MACN, mentioned experiences as intimidating as Mr Gudgeon’s have been unusual however that the delivery business was “quite exposed to corruption risks”, and that the variety of incidents reported can be “the tip of the iceberg”.

She mentioned this was resulting from “the combination of frequent government interaction, shipping across multiple jurisdictions and the time element of sailing in and out of ports”.