Vol. 5 Num 771 Fri. July 28, 2006  
Front Page

CPA to protest ranking of Ctg port as most dangerous

The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) will send a letter to Kuala Lumpur based International Maritime Bureau (IMB) protesting against the labelling of Chittagong port as most dangerous port in the world in its latest piracy report.

"I am preparing a letter to protest the latest piracy report of IMB where Chittagong was mentioned as most dangerous port in the world," CPA Chairman ASM Shahadat Hossain told The Daily Star last night.

He said the IMB report was wrong as there were no incidents of piracy in Chittagong port this year. The IMB report, however, mentioned 22 piracy incidents in the first six months of this year and termed Chittagong port most dangerous port in the world.

Actually, IMB often terms petty theft or stealing of ropes from ships as piracy even though piracy actually means armed robbery at sea, Hossain said when asked why IMB mentioned the 22 piracy incidents.

According to him, armed robbery at sea hardly ever happens in Bangladesh territory. The last two such incidents were recorded in 2004. There was no report of piracy in 2005 and 2006, he said.

However, 27 theft incidents or stealing ropes were recorded until July 12, this year.

The number of such petty thefts in the Chittagong port was 58 in 2003, 52 in 2004, and 28 in 2005.

The CPA chairman claimed the piracy incidents reduced significantly following regular patrol of coastguards on two patrol boats provided by the CPA.

CPA sources said the crew of foreign ships often sell the ropes and other valuables of the ship while remaining at the outer anchorage. They tell the ship authorities that those goods were stolen which is eventually referred to IMB.

The CPA also issued a notice informing all captains of the ships to submit a report whether there were any incidents of theft or stealing while remaining in the port or at outer anchorage.

The ships must submit the report before getting no objection certificate (NOC), said a high official of the CPA. In absence of any such incidents, the ships will also have to give an undertaking in this regard before leaving the port, he added.

The CPA called an anti-piracy meeting on August 4 to discuss the whole issue of piracy in Chittagong port. According to sources, the IMB report is very important as it is circulated worldwide tarnishing the image of the port and the country as well.

The former secretary of shipping Ismail Jabihullah in an international meeting protested the IMB piracy report as it often mentions petty theft or stealing as piracy.

Meanwhile, a meeting under Bangladesh chapter of International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) code held on July 20 this month did not find any reports of piracy at Chittagong port in the last two months.

The meeting discussed six incidents of stealing mooring ropes of ships while remaining anchored at the port.