People-smuggling Scams Reemerge Globally -ITIC
Scams to smuggle illegal migrants aboard ships are reemerging globally, warns International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC).
ITIC is urging ship agents worldwide to be extra vigilant when approached to carry out crew changes by unknown owners or crew managers, as people-smugglers scams are becoming more prevalent.
According to ITIC, agents are approached by scamming owners or managers (usually unknown to the agent) asking to attend a vessel's call and to provide assistance with crew changes.
Although the approach is a sham, the agent’s involvement will provide cover for the migrants’ arrival in the country before they promptly disappear, leaving the agent with unpaid hotel bills and even fines from immigration authorities. The agent could also be held liable for detention and repatriation costs if the migrants are caught.