The International Transport Workers’ Federation is demanding the captain of the notorious MV Sage Sagittarius should be charged after men died mysteriously at sea, reported the Maritime Union of Australia.
The request was made on October 19, 2016, in regards to the Japanese owned but Panama Flagged ship, on which the head chef and chief engineer were found dead in 2012, and then a man sent to investigate also died under suspicious circumstances
The ITF claims there is no doubt as to whether the deaths were intentional, with one man being thrown down a shaft and another mutilated in machinery; the Captain had both deleted audio records and lied about his whereabouts at the time of the deaths.
Dean Summers, National Coordinator of the ITF said: “The ITF will submit Captain Salas committed an indictable offence in perverting the course of justice, and will call for the Coroner to recommend he be charged, this kind of brutality could only be perpetrated on deregulated FOC ships.”
FOC stands for Flag of Convenience, and it means a ship is flagged under a country which holds different restrictions to the country which owns the ships, allowing more freedom of operation; a FOC ship can also avoid certain charges.
Many in the shipping industry dislike the practice, claiming it allows for higher levels of crime with lower accountability, the rights and safety of workers are not respected and operations are not properly regulated.