People traffickers target ship agents, warns ITIC

Nov 05 2020


ITIC - International Transport Intermediaries Club – is warning its ship and port agent members to be aware of approaches from people traffickers attempting to smuggle illegal immigrants through their ports.

Traffickers, pretending to be shipping companies, are approaching ship agents and requesting them to handle a change of crew, including booking travel and accommodation. Operating through an agent in this way gives the traffickers a degree of legitimacy and provides a cover for their illegal operations. Often the ship agent will make the arrangements but the migrants will simply disappear. 

Andrew Jamieson, ITIC’s Claims Director, explains further:

“This is not a new issue but we have seen a re-emergence of this scam. Sadly, in the past some of our members have fallen for this scam and have been left with unpaid hotel bills and other expenses. More seriously, they can face fines from the immigration authorities plus liability for detention and repatriation costs if the migrants are caught.”

He continued:

“Coronavirus has impacted heavily on the process of crew changes and this appears to have shifted focus away from people smuggling. Traffickers are resourceful and can pass themselves off as a legitimate vessel operator. Not every offer of business is genuine and due diligence should be carried out on all potential new clients. We urge our members, and others, to remain extremely vigilant.”



Related News

Cyber Security Workbook for On Board Ship Use available to order

(Nov 12 2020)

ICS is pleased to announce publication of the second edition of the Cyber Security Workbook for On Board Ship Use, produced by BIMCO, ICS and Witherby Publishing Group.



Boarding - 162nm South Cotonou

(Nov 12 2020)

It has been indicated that the Singapore flagged Chemical Tanker TORM ALEXANDRA (IMO 9466001) was boarded whilst in transit from Lomé.



Tanker attacked in the Gulf of Guinea, situation developing

(Nov 12 2020)

A merchant ship was attacked in the Gulf of Guinea some 85 nm SSW of Lagos Nigeria, at around 0120 UTC on November 11, 2020.



Turkish fishing boat collides with Greek vessel; 5 missing

(Nov 12 2020)

A Turkish fishing boat capsized after colliding with a Greek-flagged vessel off Turkey's Mediterranean coast, Turkey's state-run news agency reported.



CRITICAL Risk - Gulf Of Guinea

(Nov 12 2020)

The recent flurry of incidents within the Gulf of Guinea has increased the risk profile to a unique and exceptional level. The risk profile for all maritime operations within the Gulf of Guinea at this time is CRITICAL (incidents are highly likely, e...



October 2020

Seafarer morale and safety - Neste and vessel performance - Maersk''s ZeroNorth