The International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has reported in its latest confidential bulletin to Swedish Club members about incidents involving the following subjects:
Attacks in the Gulf of Guinea showed a worrying new variation. A surge in armed attacks against ships around West Africa was pushing up global levels of piracy and armed robbery at sea, warned the IMB. The Gulf of Guinea accounted for 29 incidents in 2018 Q1, more than 40% of the global total. Of the 114 seafarers captured worldwide, all but one were in this region.
All four vessels hijackings were in the Gulf of Guinea, where no hijackings were reported in 2017. Two product tankers were hijacked from Cotonou anchorage in mid-January and early February, prompting the IMB PRC to issue a warning to ships. Towards the end of March, two fishing vessels were hijacked 30nm off Nigeria and 27nm off Ghana.
“The hijacking of product tankers from anchorages in the Gulf of Guinea is a cause of concern. In these cases, the intent of the perpetrators is to steal the oil cargo and kidnap crew. The prompt detection and response to any unauthorised movements of an anchored vessel could help in the effective response to such attacks,” IMB said.
Nigeria alone recorded 22 incidents. Of the 11 vessels fired upon worldwide, eight were off Nigeria – including a 300,000 MT deadweight VLCC tanker more than 40nm off Brass.
“Attacks in the Gulf of Guinea are against all vessels. Crews have been taken hostage and kidnapped from fishing and refrigerated cargo vessels as well as product tankers. In some cases, the attacks have been avoided by the early detection of an approaching skiff, evasive action taken by the vessel and the effective use of citadels. The IMB is working with national and regional authorities in the Gulf of Guinea to support ships and coordinate counter piracy actions. The authorities from Benin, Nigeria and Togo have sent out boats in response to several incidents,” said IMB.
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Malaysia passes new Corporate Liability Bill. Bribery and corruption outlook 2018.
The Malaysian Government proposed amendments to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 that would make corporations liable for the corrupt practices of its associated persons. The amendments are set out in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Bill 2018 that was tabled for first reading in the Malaysian Parliament on March 26th 2018.
The corporate liability provisions are modelled on the Bribery Act in the UK, It criminalizes commercial organisations if an associated person corruptly gives any gratification with intent to obtain or retain business, or an advantage in the conduct of business, for the commercial organisation.
An “associated person” includes directors and employees, and could extend to third party service providers.
The Bill imposes strict liability on commercial organisations, in that organizations can be liable regardless of whether they had actual knowledge of the corrupt actions of its associated persons. To avoid liability, organizations must be able to demonstrate that they had in place adequate procedures designed to prevent associated persons from undertaking corrupt practices.
Where a commercial organisation commits an offence, the directors, officers and management are deemed to have committed the same offence unless they are able to prove that the offence was committed without their consent and that they exercised due diligence to prevent the offence.
The potential penalties could be in the form of a fine of not less than ten times the value of the gratification (if capable of being valued), or RMB1m, whichever is the higher, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years, or both.
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