Maritime Security Report [April 1996]   [open pdf - 142KB]

This quarterly report on maritime security deals with Cargo Theft, Stowaways and finally port security in Vietnam. United States' port cities and their hinterland areas are experiencing dramatic increases in the theft and in-transit hijacking of entire containers and trailers. For example: Cargo theft incidents are occurring most frequently in Florida, California, New York, and New Jersey; Industry estimates cargo theft losses in U.S. exceed $10 billion and average one-half million dollars per incident, and; FBI assesses the cargo theft problem to constitute a serious threat to the flow of commerce in the United States. The risk for ports and ocean carriers is being elevated by the forced migration of millions of people worldwide, now classified as refugees. Adding to that risk is the increased use of containers in organized criminal conspiracies to smuggle transnational asylum seekers to the West. Consequences include: Stowaways disrupt service, cause direct costs and revenue losses for container vessel operators, and jeopardize international commerce, and; Stowaways have posed a threat to crew and safe operation of the ship, and often have died during the voyage. The ports of Vietnam are vulnerable to being used by sophisticated smuggling schemes which rely on concealment of narcotics in shipments of commercial containerized maritime trade. They are utilizing front companies or exploiting legitimate shippers in the process. Also: Southeast Asia's explosive growth in containerized maritime trade is causing port congestion and inefficiencies exploited by smugglers, and; Removal of customs restrictions on cross-border trade, proposed by commercial interests, will create more opportunities for smugglers.

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