Vessel owners cautioned over scam in Port Said

Marine insurer Skuld is advising continued vigilance for masters, crew and vessels calling at Egyptian ports and transiting the Suez Canal amid a number of attempts by unauthorised persons to gain access to ships for the purpose of committing fraud.

Representatives claiming to be from a company called “United Mediterranean Shipping” have sought to gain access to vessels at the Port Said anchorage claiming to be acting on behalf of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA).

In particular they claim to be arranging a “test analysis” for the vessel’s crew, specifically they seek to undertake blood tests and then are asking the master for a payment, Skuld said.

The SCA has stated that they are not engaged in any such programme and that no one has been authorised to engage in such activity on the SCA’s behalf. Anyone claiming to be representing the SCA in this regard is acting unlawfully and without authority.

“Please note that we have received information that some people belonging to a company named United Mediterranean Shipping boarding the vessels at Port Said anchorage to arrange test analyses for the vessel’s crew claiming that it is according to SCA instructions.

“Kindly inform all the shipping agencies to inform all the masters of the vessels with the above and do not allow them to board their vessels and inform the authorities immediately to take a quick action against them as no any instructions from SCA concerning this matter,” the Suez Canal Authority said a letter.

Egypt has experienced a period of upheaval in recent years and there seems to be a continued issue with respect to security matters. The new government has sought to address some of these concerns by way of constructing a security fence along certain lengths of the canal and tightening access to the canal zone.

In other areas of the country, however, the security environment remains challenging, as informed by Skuld.

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