The International Transport Intermediaries Club
(ITIC) has uncovered what appears to have been an attempt by an individual to gain illegal entry into the UK by using the services of a ship agent.
The ship agent, based in Northern Scotland and a member of ITIC, was asked to place a superintendent on board a vessel called the “Skiner,” which was apparently en route from Scandinavia to Ireland
. The agent was asked to provide a letter of invitation so that the superintendent, of Jordanian origin, could apply for a visa.
The agent became suspicious when he could not find any trace of the vessel in an extensive search of industry databases. He contacted ITIC, which found a German-owned container vessel called the “Skirner” which appeared to have the same trading patterns and call signs as the other ship. When the agent then contacted the operators of the “Skirner”, they confirmed that they had no knowledge of the vessel going to Ireland, let alone having a superintendent go on board. It subsequently emerged that BIMCO had been alerted to a similar request for the “Skiner”, but this time for passage to Spain.