SUEZ CANAL AUTHORITY CRACKS DOWN ON EXTORTION
The Suez Canal Authority has said it will work with ocean carriers to
crack down on extortion in the canal.
Mohamed S. El Ghamry, director of transit for the Suez Canal Authority, said
carriers should deal only with authorized people who carry appropriate identification.
Suspicions or complaints about these people should be reported immediately to the
Extortion is nothing new in the Suez. "This activity has gone on for
years," said Thomas Timlen of the Baltic and International Maritime
Council, which represents hundreds of carriers and ship agents that operate in the Suez.
"Most of the time it has been done for cartons of cigarettes — up to 100 per ship
The Suez Canal Authority came under pressure from carriers to better
control extortion in April after two canal pilots attempted to extort $50
each from the master of a tanker. "We had never seen them attempt to extort money
before," Timlen said.
Many carriers have been reluctant to report extortion incidents to canal
officials for fear of having their vessels stopped for lengthy
investigations. Ghamry assured carriers that they would not be delayed for reporting these