AsiaMiddle EastOperations

Campaign launched to get Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to intervene in horrific crew abandonment case

A campaign has been launched on to put pressure on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, to intervene in a horrific case of crew abandonment involving crews on five ships belonging to a local shipping company.

Justice Upheld, a UK charity, has launched the online campaign with the backing of the 40 seafarers, a mix of Indians, Sudanese, Tanzanians, Eritreans, Filipinos and Ethiopians, stuck onboard various ships owned by Elite Way Marine Services, which the charity says has deliberately abandoned them at sea, some for more than 27 months without pay.

Many videos posted onto social media from Elite Way’s ships show the shocking conditions onboard, described by Justice Upheld as “appalling and inhumane”.

Dubai-headquartered Elite Way has confiscated the passports of all of the seafarers, the charity claims, and has refused to sign them off with their full salaries.

European shipping database Equasis lists Elite Way with five vessels made up of two OSVs, a chemical carrier and a pair of deck cargo ships.

The campaign will come as an embarrassment to authorities in the United Arab Emirates as, following years of bad press, the Middle Eastern nation has actually done more than most in the past 18 months to rid itself of cases of crew abandonment.



Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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