Proven Expertise

Weekly Maritime Security Report 20 February 2020

Southeast Asia

China: Hong Kong to quarantine travellers from mainland, close cruise terminals

05 February

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the territory will close two cruise terminals and put anyone coming from mainland China into compulsory quarantine for 14 days. The move came as thousands of passengers and crew on a cruise ship that docked in Hong Kong on 5 February were being kept on board while they were tested for the coronavirus. The measures are aimed at curbing the cross-border flow of people to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus which originated in mainland China in December 2019. There have so far been 21 confirmed cases in Hong Kong.

Analysis: Expect increased vigilance around all far east ports

 

Japan: Australia to evacuate over 200 citizens from cruise ship in Yokohama
17 February

Australia will evacuate more than 200 of its citizens on board the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship being held under quarantine in Yokohama since 3 February. The passengers will depart on 19 February and be taken to Darwin, where they will be quarantined for 14 days. Health officials reported at least 355 confirmed cases of the virus on the ship as of 16 February. The US has already evacuated about 400 citizens from the Diamond Princess, while Canada, Italy, South Korea and Hong Kong have also announced plans to repatriate passengers.

 

Japan: (UPDATE) Health authorities confirm 355 cases of COVID-19 on cruise ship

16 February

Health officials reported that 355 cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at Yokohama Port, as authorities confirmed 70 new cases. Countries such as the US, Canada and Hong Kong are sending aircraft to Japan to bring back their citizens on board the ship, where the most coronavirus infections outside China have occurred. No one from the ship has died of the virus. Officials on the cruise ship began screening passengers on the evening of 3 February, and the vessel was placed under quarantine on 4 February.

Analysis: Japan and other sovereign states will take the action they deem appropriate to defend against the spread of the virus. Seafarers having come into contact with areas affected by coronavirus should take comprehensive protective measures (in terms of policy and procedures) and document their routes in preparation for any port calls and actions by authorities.

 

Cambodia: Cruise ship passengers disembark at Sihanoukville
14 February

Passengers on the MS Westerdam cruise ship that spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over coronavirus fears, disembarked in the port town of Sihanoukville. The health ministry said no one on board was found to be carrying the virus. Charter flights are being organised to help passengers return home. The cruise ship was carrying 1,455 passengers and 805 crew and had docked on 13 February to allow Cambodian officials to board and collect samples from passengers with any signs of ill-health or flu-like symptoms.

Analysis: Expect increased vigilance around all far east ports and disruption when attempting to dock. Seafarers should ensure they can categorically show their preparations and transit routes in light of the affected areas of COVID-19

 

Select Maritime News

 

Brazil: Truck drivers protest at Santos port

18 February

A group of truck drivers are holding a protest along access roads at Santos port. Some truck drivers told local media that the protest has prevented hundreds of trucks from accessing the port. However, local media reported that the protest has slowed traffic around the port but trucks could still enter the maritime facility without much delay. Media footage of the protest showed several trucks parked on the side of roads leading to the port, but the main entrances to the maritime facility were not blocked. The protest started in the early hours of 17 February and the drivers said they will continue to demonstrate throughout the day.

 

Brazil: Authorities seize 140kg of cocaine at Itajai port

17 February

Authorities seized 140 kg of cocaine concealed among a cargo of timber inside a container at Itajai port. Authorities found the narcotics during a routine cargo inspection. The origin of the narcotics was unclear although police said the drugs were bound for Antwerp port in Belgium.

 

Denmark: Authorities arrest 27 for cocaine smuggling near Gedser

15 February

Authorities seized more than five tonnes of cocaine after searching a suspicious shipping container. The drugs were hidden in a consignment of flowers headed for the Netherlands, AFP news agency reported. It was unclear where the seizure took place. A suspect has been arrested. Authorities said it was the largest ever seizure of illegal drugs in the country's history.

 

Costa Rica: Police seize 5 tonnes of cocaine from shipping container

15 February

Authorities seized more than five tonnes of cocaine after searching a suspicious shipping container. The drugs were hidden in a consignment of flowers headed for the Netherlands, AFP news agency reported. It was unclear where the seizure took place. A suspect has been arrested. Authorities said it was the largest ever seizure of illegal drugs in the country's history.

 

Brazil: Authorities seize 1.1 tonnes of cocaine at Santos port

14 February

Authorities seized 1.1 tonnes of cocaine in two incidents at an unknown terminal of Santos port. In the first incident, authorities seized 478 kg of cocaine hidden among a cargo of timber bound for Antwerp port in Belgium. In the second, authorities seized 635 kg of narcotics hidden among a cargo of graphite that was bound for Rotterdam port in the Netherlands. Authorities found both batches of cocaine during routine cargo checks at the port. Large-scale drug seizures are frequently reported at Santos port.

 

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