Monday, October 5, 2009

Not Just Pirates Who Seize Ships

More Vessels and Cargoes Delayed as Authorities Clamp Down Globally
Shipping News Feature

INDIA – KOREA – There has been a marked increase in the number of ships and cargo detained by authorities in the past few months. Just as pirate activity has seen a steady rise, so too has there been an upturn in the legal detention of vessels and goods.

The latest incident involved the seizure of the 9000 tonne freighter Hyang Ro, owned by Sinhung Shipping of North Korea which had anchored seven miles off the coast Vadakara, India on Friday afternoon whilst en route to Pakistan. Investigations revealed the crew’s report of anchoring to repair a leaking tank proved correct and the vessel was permitted to continue on Sunday after a search by Coastguards.

This was the second incident in recent times involving the two countries. The Korean registered Mu San was held by Indian authorities for three weeks recently whilst she was searched for illicit cargo. Nothing was found on that occasion either, unlike the 15th August seizure by UAE authorities of the ANL Australia, later found to contain munitions.

In a separate incident, a tip off has led to the South Korean authorities seizing and searching four shipping containers after inspecting a vessel carrying North Korean cargo via China when the ship docked at Busan on the 22nd September. Reports reach us that the National Intelligence Service were seeking “hazardous substances” they believed to be stowed there.

The spate of activity is believed to be linked to the concerted crackdown by authorities world wide to eliminate the spread of weapons and nuclear material and to enforce UN resolution 1874, which was passed this year in response to North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile tests.