Despite warning by Interpol, hazardous mercury-infused oil ship anchored at Gadani ship-breaking yard near Karachi

  • A ship carrying around 1,500 tonnes of mercury-infused oil has been approved to anchor at the Gadani ship-breaking yard near Karachi.
  • Bangladesh and India did not permit the ship as it contains toxic material.
  • Interpol had alerted Pakistani officials of the ship, yet nothing was done to halt it.
(Gadani Ship Breaking Yard Pakistan/Facebook)

A ship carrying hazardous and toxic material, which was rejected permission by Bangladesh and India, has been authorized to anchor at the Gadani ship-breaking yard near Karachi.

The ship was allowed to dock despite a sharp warning by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).

On the 22nd of April, Interpol had urged the Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) and Interpol Pakistan to not permit the ship into Pakistan.

The ship consists of 1,500 tonnes of mercury-infused oil.

Nonetheless, the ship has been docked at the Gadani ship-breaking yard and work is underway to dismantle it.

Toxic material from the ship. (Geo News Screengrab)

The ship was not permitted by the Indian and Bangladeshi authorities due to the toxic content inside it which poses a grave threat to the environment.

The name of the ship was changed from FS Ordient to Cherish before it reached Karachi from Mumbai on the 21st of April.

It is pertinent to note that after receiving the warning letter from Interpol, the Ministry of Environment and three other federal government ministries only exchanged letters with each other and did not implement any measures to halt the ship.

(Gadani Ship Breaking Yard Pakistan/Facebook)

In the end, the ship’s owners had worked to bring the ship to Gadani after securing permission from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) without obtaining the necessary permission from the concerned authorities.

The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), Pakistan Customs, and EPA Balochistan were responsible for stopping the ship from entering Pakistan.

Nevertheless, these ministries did not do anything.

(Toxic material from the ship)

Laborers complain of skin diseases

Despite having full knowledge of the presence of hazardous material, the owner has stationed workers to discharge the ship.

Currently, mercury-infused oil residue is being discharged from the ship and loaded in drums for disposal.

Drums placed on site to be filled. (Geo News Screengrab)

The workers discharging the ship have lamented severe burning and diseases on their hands and face and breathing complications.

The workers have pleaded that their identities not be revealed due to the fear of losing jobs.

It has now been learned that the discharge site of the ship has been sealed.

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Posted by Maritime Study Forum on Wednesday, May 26, 2021

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