19 Jan 2017

Fiji police investigating falsely flagged vessels

7:41 am on 19 January 2017

Police in Fiji are investigating reports of vessels fraudulently claiming to be flagged in Fiji.

Fiji Village reports the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji has submitted all information regarding the vessels with falsified documents to police.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed that reports had been received and that investigations were underway.

The same information has also been sent to the Tokyo MOU an inter-governmental co-operative organization on port State control consisting of 19 member authorities in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji says the Tokyo MOU will disseminate the information to other member states.

MSA chief executive, John Tunidau, told Fiji Village that Fiji has a closed registry not an open registry like some other Pacific countries.

He said this means any foreign ships claiming Fiji is their Flag state are doing so fraudulently.

An open registry is a practice where foreign ship owners register their ships in another state.

It is practiced by several Pacific countries including Vanuatu, Marshall Islands and Palau.