We would like to draw attention to some problems reported by Members.
Bogus crews for phantom ships
In 1988 the Club issued a circular notifying Member in the European Community of several instances where agents has been appointed for the call of a newly acquired ship at a northern European port by the buyer of the ship. One of the duties of the agent was to arrange for the new owners' third world crew to take over the ship. The agent in each case arranged for entry visas, travel, accommodation, etc. for 20-30 crew who disappeared shortly after their arrival. The agent subsequently found out that there was no such ship, and the only intention was to introduce illegal immigrants into the EC. The agent was left to foot all the bills, including potential fines from the immigration authorities. BIMCO recently warned its members about the same problem and ship agents in Canada have experienced similar situations. The only difference was that the ship did exist but was in lay and, needless to say, did not belong to the alleged "buyer". Any Member who believes that he has been selected to look after a bogus crew for phantom ship should let the club know immediately.
Forged bank telexes
Over the past few months the same unscrupulous charterer has twice managed to get ship agents to allow ships to sail before disbursements are received, by sending a fake bank confirmation that a remittance had been made. In both cases the agent received a telex which apparently originated from a London bank. when the funds did not arrive, the Club contacted the bank who denied that the telexes originated from them.
Recent ITIC publication
The Club has recently compiled a booklet which contains articles from ten years of "The Intermediary" of special interest to ship mangers.
Two circulars dealing with bill of Latin irregularities were issued in August. These circulars were prompted by problems being faced by Members and their principals as a result of these irregular practices.