InterManager co-hosts landmark symposium to address drug smuggling concerns

Ship management association InterManager is backing a landmark symposium focused on drug smuggling in ships which aims to foster better collaboration between law enforcement agencies and ship operators.

Taking place in Houston, USA, on Tuesday 9th January 2024, the one-day symposium will incorporate presentations from US Customs & Border Protection, the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC), commercial shipping operators, case lawyers and intelligence analysts from South America, and other speakers.

Among the symposium’s objectives are to ensure law enforcement is focussed on perpetrators while minimising the risks of wrongful detentions of crew members and ships. It aims to develop a concept for quantifying the threat on which shipowners can base their risk assessments, and to advise on practical prevention measures for ship owners, operators, managers and crew members, as well as port personnel, to deter or detect drug smuggling on ships.

Confirmed speakers include the following authorities and companies:
• US Customs & Border Protection, USA
• UN Office on Drugs & Crime, Sri Lanka
• U.S. National Geospatial Agency, USA
• Mediterranean Shipping Company, Switzerland
• Bulk carrier manager/operator, Cyprus
• P&I correspondents, Mexico
• Case lawyers, Colombia
• Control Risks, Mexico
• Port facility Security Officer, Colombia
• Chemical Tankers operator, USA
• Bulk carrier operator, Hong Kong

InterManager Secretary General, Captain Kuba Szymanski, commented: “We have seen some appalling treatment of seafarers following the discovery of drugs onboard their vessel, even after the crew themselves reported the find. InterManager is supporting this landmark symposium in the hope that a better understanding can be reached between law enforcement agencies and the shipping sector as to how drugs are smuggled onboard ships and where the real accountability may lie.

“I hope that this symposium, and any actions and initiatives emerging from it, will make help us work towards a situation where innocent seafarers are not unfairly criminalised and punished for something that is not their fault.”

To register for the symposium please click here


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