Sweden: Major Shippers Unwittingly Help Traffickers

Por Dialogo
abril 01, 2012

A new study on sea trafficking reveals that a majority of ships involved in
the illegal transfer of weapons, drugs and banned missile equipment are owned by
major shipping companies in Germany, Greece and the United States.
The study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
acknowledged that shipowners or captains may not realize what their vessels are
carrying. Smugglers secretly stashed their illegal cargo aboard reputable ships
owned by major companies to avoid seeming suspicious. Hiding arms and drugs in
legitimate cargoes is relatively easy, the study said.
In cases in which the ships’ owners are complicit, the study said the ships
tend to be older and to be sailing under “flags of convenience” — when a ship is
registered in a country other than where its owner is based.
The ships also carry other military equipment and sensitive dual-use goods
that could be used in the development of missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
The study looked at all reported incidents involving larger ships in the past 20
The study, issued in January 2012, is the first to comprehensively examine
maritime trafficking.
Homeland Security News Wire, Stockholm International Peace Research