Seafarers Struggle With Detrimental Level Of Corruption At Ports, MACN Reports

Seafarer
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The Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) highlights the often overseen but detrimental level of corruption the seafarers encounter in the ports worldwide.

In an interview with the BBC, they recount the stories of crew members regularly confronted with demand for cigarettes, food, or more to enable easy processing in and out of ports.

According to the MACN’s official website, the organisation was started 11 years ago by a small group of maritime majors who were striving to maintain a maritime industry free of corruption.

The organisation has evolved to more than 200 firms globally, using collective action to manage the issue.

MACN’s operating statement reads that it is working toward eliminating all forms of maritime corruption.

They implement anti-corruption principles, sharing leading practices and collaborating with government and non-government organisations.

As part of the awareness campaign, they recently appeared on the BBC to discuss maritime corruption.

The MACN told the BBC that it had received 61,000 reports in over 1,000 ports across 150 nations in the decade since the organisation was first introduced.

Last year, they got 5,183 reports they reported to the BBC.

They pointed out that the so-called gratuities are against international anti-corruption regulations.

Officially, shipping firms forbid the policy, but many seafarers say that these things happen often.

Specialists suggest that shipping firms look the other way, focused on maintaining the schedules.

The worst case they recalled was a ship captain taken from his vessel at gunpoint as he says he refused to hand over the cigarettes to the port officials.

He contends that they held and trumped up charges with a fine related to paperwork irregularities.

More cases were less dramatic, like the crew member who recalled a port official trying to take a 5kg cheese block from stores.

They said the demand for food, drinks, cigarettes, or cash happens too often.

They believed that some crew members were afraid to report the issue, thinking they could not get more work in the industry.

BBC spoke to the other organisations.

The International Association of Ports and Harbours informed them that tangible progress has been made, citing initiatives in places such as the Indian subcontinent, the Gulf of Suez, and Africa.

MACN further reported to the BBC that it was working with the governments in nine nations to tackle the corrupt officials.

However, they admitted to the BBC that there’s a lot still left to be done.

MACN said that it is working to help the firms understand the associated risks and develop better-articulated policies to combat corruption.

Reference: MACN

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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