The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the 2008-built 28,300 dwt handy bulk carrier AC Sesoda for deliberately underpaying its crew by more than AUD$118,000 ($86,368).
AMSA boarded the vessel at Mourilyan in Queensland last week to investigate allegations about the underpayment and collected evidence that proved a number of crew had only been paid half of their wages since October last year.
AMSA accuses the ship’s Taiwanese operator, Sincere Industrial Corporation, of attempting to conceal the underpayment from authorities and detained the ship. After the detention, the crew was paid the outstanding wages.
AMSA has issued a 12-month ban on the ship, prohibiting it from entering Australian ports after releasing it from detention.
It is the fourth ship that AMSA has banned this year for serious breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention.
“AMSA has made its position abundantly clear – we have a zero tolerance for the underpayment of crew. This type of behaviour is unethical, disrespectful and in complete contravention to the Maritime Labour Convention,” said Allan Schwartz, AMSA’s general manager of operations.