DRUG TRAFFICKING ON LIVE EX SHIPS
Live-ex ships have long been on the drug-trafficking radar for international authorities as they are difficult to search for both personnel and sniffer dogs. Spain has been active in this area and just hit gold with 4.5 TONNES of cocaine from the aging livestock carrier Orion V.
Maritime Executive reports that last week, Spain's National Police and Tax Agency Customs Surveillance Service intercepted the Orion V at a position about 50 nm to the southwest of the Canary Islands. carrying 1,750 cattle on a voyage from Cartagena to Beirut. The 28 crewmembers were arrested, and the vessel was diverted to port for an inspection. Search teams found 4.5 tonnes of cocaine hidden in the vessel's cattle feed silos. Guess thats one way to head off live-ex vessel financial woes???? But again, it highlights the issues: poor animal welfare, poor human welfare - ONE HEALTH, ONE WELFARE.
ABC reports that the Yangtze Fortune failed to deliver cattle to China after a crack was discovered it its hull in Sept 2022. The Liberian-flagged ship has been anchored in Portland, in Victoria's south-west, since September 28 last year. A December 2022 judgement by the Federal Court of Australia found the vessel's Chinese owners had abandoned the ship and its crew amid mounting debt owed to creditors. With no food or fuel being provided by its owners, the ship is now under the care of a Federal Court Admiralty Marshal, responsible for vessels after court orders.
At least someone looks after the sailors here...not so for its sister ship, Yangtze Harmony in Singapore which the ITF have likened to a floating prison. The ship was arrested in Singapore in October after its owners failed to pay its debts. In Singapore, unlike Victoria, the crew are not allowed to shore and cant receive unless there's permission by the authorities. The crew there is "completely abandoned'."
And meanwhile, Splash 24/7 reports that liquidators have been establisheded for Cattle Line Two, the company which owns two long idle livestock carriers, the Barkly Pearl and Diamantina. The 30-year-old Barkly Pearl (used by Beef Central in 2020 as an example of the livestock industry's world standard vessels!!) ) is currently moored at Batam in Indonesia as is the four-year-younger Diamantina.