AMSA swoops on ship in Gladstone for underpaying crew
THE Australian Maritime Safety Authority has banned the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier MV Shandong Hai Wang for 12 months after it was discovered that crew had been deliberately underpaid.
Last Friday AMSA received information from the International Transport Workers' Federation alleging discrepancies in the payment of crew wages.
AMSA surveyors boarded the ship on arrival in Gladstone last Saturday to investigate the allegations.
During the inspection surveyors found evidence that crew had been deliberately underpaid by about $56,000 from the amount specified in their seafarer employment agreements.
The ship was immediately detained for breaching the Maritime Labour Convention, which sets out seafarers' rights to decent working conditions.
AMSA general manager of operations Allan Schwartz said AMSA would not tolerate ships that underpaid their crew in Australia.
"The international conventions that protect seafarers' rights are very clear," Mr Schwartz said.
"AMSA takes a zero-tolerance approach to the mistreatment of crew and all ships coming to our shores should be aware of the consequences.
"Ships visiting Australian ports are put on notice. The next ship we find deliberately and repeatedly underpaying its crew and attempting to deceive authorities can expect an even more severe penalty."
Mr Schwartz said it was the fourth time in the last year that a ship had been banned from Australian ports for underpaying crew.
The Shandong Hai Wang is operated by Qilu Ship Management Co Limited.
AMSA received confirmation on Thursday that all outstanding wages had been received by the crew.
The ship has been released from detention and is currently travelling to Singapore.