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Container shipping companies and international customs authorities met earlier this month to discuss ways to step up the fight against drug trafficking by sea as traffickers continue to exploit points in the ocean liner trade to move increasingly large shipments of illicit narcotics.

The meeting was organized by the World Shipping Council (WSC) and the Container Control Programme (CCP), which is a joint initiative between the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Customs Organization.

The goal of the meeting was to advance the fight against the illicit drug trade by enhancing relationships and communications between the ocean liner industry and customs officials. Customs authorities from Ecuador, Panama, Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Turkey, India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States presented their challenges and successes in fighting drug trafficking. WSC member carriers provided insights into the everyday operations of the ocean liner industry and the strategies and procedures in place to prevent crime, as well as opening lines of communication to build closer relationships with customs authorities.

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A heavy machinery vehicle fell onto cargo deck of a bulker, on June 26, at Terminal Two, Valparaiso, Chile.

As information suggests, the bulk carrier HG Perth was at Terminal Two, Valparaiso, Chile, when a mobile crane or an excavatorfell onto its cargo deck.

At the time, the vehicle was probably not secured by leading lashes and because of that, lost balance, flipped over and fell.

Nobody was injured, but the ship’s cargo deck and vehicle sustained damages.

HG Perth had arrived on June 25 from China, via Salvador.

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Thirteen people have died and 251 were injured during a toxic gas leak from a storage tank at Jordan’s Aqaba port, on June 27.

The leak came after a cable lifting a tank filled with 25 tonnes of chlorine snapped, sending the container crashing down. As a result, city health authorities advised residents to close their windows and stay in their homes.

According to a former head of the company that operates the port, a vessel had been waiting to load almost 20 containers of liquified gas “containing a very high percentage of chlorine”.