Australia banned a ship for unpaid crew wages
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) today banned the Panama-flagged bulk carrier AC Sesoda for intentionally underpaying its crew by more than AUD $118,000, which the ship's operator tried to hide from authorities.
On Thursday 10 September 2020, AMSA boarded the ship at Mourilyan in Queensland to investigate complaints of underpayment. Evidence was gathered during AMSA's inquiry, revealing that since October 2019, a number of crew have only been paying half of their salaries.
Sincere Industrial Corporation, the master and Taiwanese operator of the ship, tried to hide the underpayment from AMSA inspectors by producing only a manufactured wage record that suggested that such seafarers had been paid in full. A second wage record revealed that, in reality, these seafarers were knowingly underpaid, while some of the crew members had been paying above their agreed rates.
AMSA detained the ship, and ordered the operator to pay the unpaid wages. Since then, AMSA has received proof that the unpaid wages were paid to the crew and a rectification action plan was developed.
AMSA General Operations Manager Allan Schwartz said the ship was released from detention and granted a 12-month ban forbidding it to enter an Australian port.
Maritime Business World