We thought our ship carried lentils, not armaments, says CMA CGM
FRENCH shipping giant CMA CGM says it was deceived by a mis-declaration of cargo after its 1,678-TEU Victoria was seized by the Israeli navy for carrying weapons bound for Gaza via Egypt when it the shipping line thought the containers held “lentils”.
After an investigation by the Israeli government, the ship was released from the Port of Ashdod after Israel removed three containers, reported American Shipper.
“CMA CGM is taking the issue regarding their vessel, Victoria, very seriously,” the carrier told London’s Containerisation International. “CMA CGM has a strict policy regarding national and international ship security and cargo regulations.”
In a media statement, the French shipping giant said: “When a business wishes to send cargo via a container, the shipping company provides the container, and the shipper loads it and seals it. The shipper is therefore responsible for the cargo declared on the bill of lading.”
The Marseilles-based carrier said it “does not tolerate false declarations of goods that could undermine the group’s reputation and will continue to collaborate with security services to fight the transport of illegal cargo.”
CMA CGM have been charged with a number of illegal weapon shipments in recent months and it has denied charges in every case, insisting that it has been misled by false cargo declarations, reported London’s Containerisation International.