Hundreds of vessels around the world are essentially trading as a zombie fleet with scams growing when it comes to registering ships, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has warned.
Frederick Kenney, director of the legal and external affairs division at the IMO, speaking at this week’s International Group of P&I Clubs Correspondents’ Conference in London, said action was needed to tackle the growing number of fraudulently flagged ships.
Kenney reported how around 10 flag states had revealed they had ships on their books that they had no idea about, registered from fake offices. As an example, he cited the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which had 90 ships flying its flag that it had not officially registered.
In April, Splash reported how ships and seafarers were being illegally registered under a fake international registry. The Federated States of Micronesia, a tiny archipelago in the western Pacific, warned of the scam, which affected around 300 ships, in a letter sent to the United Nations.