Dry CargoGreater ChinaOperations

Chinese bulk carrier detained in Australia with crew owed $64,000

A Chinese-owned bulk carrier chartered to carry coal to South Korea has been detained at the Port of Gladstone by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) after crewmembers reported they were owed tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.

An inspector from the International Transport Workers’ Federation boarded the Panama-flagged Fortune Genius when it docked in Gladstone yesterday, finding eight crew members from Myanmar who had been underpaid $8,000 dollars each during the past six months.

The men reported that they had been bullied and forced into working excessive hours for which they weren’t paid and asked for assistance with being repatriated to Myanmar due to concerns for their safety if they remained on the vessel.

The ITF also located fraudulent documentation, including two sets of books, which had been used to conceal the wage theft and breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention.

As a result of the ITF inspection AMSA detained the vessel, commencing a full audit of the ship today.

The Fortune Genius is owned by the China-based Marine Fortune Union Company, managed by subsidiary New Fortune Genius Management Limited, and had been chartered by Korean company Five Ocean Corporation to transport coal from Gladstone to Taean.

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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