Standard’s Club local correspondents in Columbia (A&A Multiprime) issued a circular to infrom on the precautions concerning drugs smuggling at Colombian ports.
To remind, although local authorities have police officers in the port, in order to mitigate risks some shipowners prefer to take extra preventive measures, Colombian ports presents some risks in terms of drug trafficking.
In addition, drug inspections are not mandatory (with the exception of Puerto Bolivar and Puerto Drummond where these are mandatory), but advisable due to drug smuggling risks. Normally, said inspections can be undertaken by the navy or by private diving companies.
Measures before entry
- Crew going ashore should be informed that it is common practice in Colombia that drug traffickers may seek to befriend them in order to achieve their co-operation to smuggle drugs and that local authorities are likely to act forcefully against any crewmember who is considered to be associated with drug traffickers.
- Prior to the vessel’s arrival, the Port Agent must provide the Master with the relevant updated data related to the Colombian Port. In the event that the Port Agent fails to provide this data on time, the Master should demand prompt delivery from the Port Agent.
- The ship should keep accurate records of all activities observed and the actions taken by local authorities, stevedores and other shore-based personnel and crew before entry into port, during the stay and immediately after departure.
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