By Matt McKinney
the cambodia daily
The Cambodian Shipping Corporation released a statement Monday evening defending its work with international authorities in last week’s seizure of a Cambodian-flagged ship suspected of running drugs.
The ship, called the Winner, was believed to be hauling up to 2 tons of cocaine, authorities said.
“The Registry has been continuously cooperating with other international authorities to prevent the illegal use of Cambodian vessels,” the statement read.
“Data on ships are made readily available to other Administrations for the purposes of intelligence gathering or investigations,” the statement read.
The CSC statement, released by CSC chairman Khek Sakara, said Greek police have arrested five people in Athens, Greece, in connection with the seizure of the Winner.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong said Tuesday that he had reports that the Winner was traveling from Latin America at the time it was seized.
He said the government plans an audit of the CSC.
The Cambodian registry has been criticized for failing to enforce maritime laws on ships that fly the Cambodian flag.
In another blow to the CSC, four people are missing after a Cambodian-flagged ship collided with a Turkish pleasure boat Sunday in the Bosporus straits near Istanbul, Turkey. Fifteen people were injured in the collision.
The Cambodian-flagged ship, the Modisk 3, was carrying steel to Italy and reportedly traveling without its lights on, the captain of the Turkish pleasure boat said.
Sinkings and accidents have caused headaches for the government in the past, along with occasional high profile disasters such as the discovery of a human trafficking operation last year that used a boat that had been registered with Cambodia.
The registry, founded in 1994, sells the Cambodian flag to shipowners to allow them to operate in international waters. (Additional reporting by Nhem Chea Bunly)