Maritime Criminal Activities

A range of criminal activities involving shipping business which, whilst they may not be classified as fraud, are nonetheless illegal and a threat to the reputation and integrity of the shipping community. Among these are such activities as smuggling, where contraband goods, arms or drugs may be concealed in cargo, or within the vessel itself often without the knowledge of the cargo or ship owners. Illegal immigrants are also frequently smuggled by sea with or without the complicity of the carriers. In fact there have recently been a number of cases where bogus crewing agencies have attempted to obtain entry permits for illegal migrants by making out that they are seafarers due to join a ship in the intended country of destination. Piracy is another problem facing ships today, and in particular parts of the world this is a real threat, not only to cargo and ships, but to the lives of the officers and crew, who are in many cases powerless to resist ruthless armed gangs boarding their vessel at sea or at anchorages in foreign waters.