Piracy Reporting Centre found the MV AL HUFOOF 1 moored in the harbour of Ho
Chi Minh City. It had been missing since leaving the port of Sharjah in the
United Arab Emirates five months ago.
information passed on by the Piracy Reporting Centre, Ho Chi Minh port
authorities boarded the MV HONG HEING last month and have since confirmed it is
the missing AL HUFOOF 1.
IMB Piracy Reporting Centre sent out an alert to maritime contacts in the
region and as a result of further investigations conducted by the IMB, were
able to track the stolen vessel," said IMB Director, Captain Pottengal
Mukundan. "This has been another good example of cooperation between the
shipping industry and Maritime Authorities."
September, 2000, the Georgian registered MV AL HUFOOF 1 sailed from Sharjah for
Massawa in Eritrea, with a cargo of 3,241 metric tons of wheat flour and sugar.
her departure, the ship's owners lost all contact with their vessel. Its last
known position was in the Gulf of Aden on the 11th September.
by the ICC-International Maritime Bureau tracked the vessel to Vietnam. It had
been renamed HONG HEING and was sailing under a Honduran flag. But Honduran
authorities confirmed to the IMB that no such vessel could be traced in their
information was passed to the Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Co-ordinating
Centre, who in turn, relayed it to the Ho Chi Minh port.
of wheat flour and sugar had been illegally discharged into a warehouse in Ho
Chi Minh City. Investigations have confirmed that the crew which brought the
vessel into Ho Chi Minh City were the same crew who were on board the vessel
upon departure in Sharjah.
recommends all owners should conduct detailed background checks into the
certification and history of crew members, particularly, senior officers,
before they appoint them to their vessels.
vital that port authorities actively check documentation of vessels wh o come
into their ports," said Captain Mukundan. "An incorrect or absence of
an IMO number in ship's papers is often an indication of false identity. The
actions taken by the Ho Chi Minh Port Authority and other Vietnamese government
departments have helped to bring this case to a successful conclusion".
Piracy Centre was set up in 1992. It is financed by voluntary contributions
from shipping companies and Protection & Indemnity associations. IMB also
posts a weekly world piracy status report on their website www.icc-ccs.org. The
IMB is part of Commercial Crime Services, a division of the Paris-based
International Chamber of Commerce.
Reporting Centre has had considerable success locating stolen ships. Of the ten
serious cases of hijacked and stolen ships in the past two years, the IMB
Piracy Reporting Centre has helped recover nine.