As the legally mandated authority in charge for the maritime transfer of cargos, Solomon Ports is concerned about the ongoing illegal transfer of cargoes inside Honiara Habour/Port.
On Monday 14 September last week, our Habour Patrol Officers spotted and intercepted the suspicious and illegal transfer of cargoes at the Supreme Casino Hotel Jetty between a shipping Agent Officer and staff from Tropical Helis, including two foreign crews from the fishing vessel
identified as Pilot and Mechanic on board the vessel FV DISCOVERY 101, a Pilipino flag state vessel that was doing transhipment with MV. PHEROSTER fish carrier in our harbour.
When approached by Solomon Ports security officers, the shipping agent refused to cooperate with our enforcement officers, which we view as very suspicious, and later our officers discovered this illegal activity has been going on for quite some time.
The cargoes have since been identified as Helicopter Parts brought over from the Fishing vessel.
SIPA would like to clarify that all cargoes coming into our jurisdiction area must be declared,
checked, and verified in our Ports facility.
This is to ensure the cargoes does not contain illegal items or materials coming into the country, and to ensure ‘Levy’ of rates are complied with.
According to our findings the following two areas were deemed as illegal and were breached;
- Transferring of foreign cargoes without the understanding of Solomon Ports security access for notification and approval. (DOS as under ISPS code)
- Illegal movement of foreign crews to and from the vessel without permits, as a Helicopter pilot and mechanic left the ship, which goes against State of public emergency procedures, which does not allow any foreign crews to leave vessels without valid reasons.
Solomon Ports would like to urge shipping agents to comply with our regulations, to ensure all cargoes coming into the country are monitored, checked, and verified, to also ensure the Port and
country gains revenues from these cargoes.
Solomon Ports is now currently investigating this matter, to determine how long this illegal practice has been occurring.
ENDS// – Issued by SIPA tonight