Venepandi informed that local authorities are increasing their efforts to prosecute these crimes by opening up investigations against ships and crews locally.

As a result, heavy penalties, either civil, administrative, disciplinary and criminal can be imposed.

"Despite it may be attractive to “escape” from an incident/liability by paying a relative low amount in cash to an officer, it´s highly preferable to endure an administrative investigation and/or a claim against the ship than to be subject to criminal prosecution also with the consequences that a bribery may carry out against a ship. We refer all the publications made by the P&I clubs regarding the European bribery acts currently enforced. In addition, we have found that the efforts made by local authorities to enforce anti-bribery rules may have lead them to set up entrapments in order to catch and detain persons willing to pay to cover up incidents involving the vessels," Venepandi said.

The Venezuelan Club suggests operators to say no to any offers made by local officials to “let go” the investigation in exchange for cash. 

Furthermore, it is recommended that all operators must notify and/or consult their local P&I correspondent, if they receive such offer on board in order to ensure that all proper measures are taken timely to avoid the risk of criminal prosecution against the vessel.

For further information about the incidents, please click in the PDF below