Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Somali Pirates told the truth

The New York Times is now reporting the Somali Pirates were telling the truth about tanks which were destined for Southern Sudan onboard the MV/Faina which they hijacked.

This from my blog in Feb. 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009
Pirates release M/V Faina

Finally, after 5 months, the ship carrying tanks and arms will be released.
Kenya says the cargo is theirs. I am sure there will be intense interest as to where this armament ends up.

And this from the New York Times, Dec. 8, 2010

KHARTOUM, Sudan — It was September 2008 and a band of Somali pirates made a startling discovery.

Kenyan security officers guarded T-72 tanks that were offloaded in Mombasa from the Faina. The ship was also found to be carrying 150 grenade launchers and 6 antiaircraft guns.

The Ukrainian freighter they had just commandeered in the Gulf of Aden was packed with weapons, including 32 Soviet-era battle tanks, and the entire arsenal was headed for the regional government in southern Sudan. The Ukrainian and Kenyan governments vigorously denied that, insisting that the tanks were intended for the Kenyan military.

But it turns out the pirates were telling the truth — and the Kenyans and Ukrainians were not, at least publicly. According to several secret State Department cables made public by WikiLeaks, the tanks not only were headed to southern Sudan, but they were the latest installment of several underground arms shipments. By the time the freighter was seized, 67 T-72 tanks had already been delivered to bolster southern Sudan’s armed forces against the government in Khartoum, an international pariah for its human rights abuses in Darfur.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hapag-Lloyd plans to sell stock

Hapag-Lloyd has contacted some investment banks, with the idea to do an IPO (Initial Public Offering) to sell stock.

At the moment it is owned by TUI (which is involved primarily in group travel), and after the financial problems last year, Klaus-Michael Kuehne, the principal of Kuehne & Nagel, took a major financial stake in Hapag-Lloyd, as part of an investor group.

From The Journal of Commerce

TUI has repeatedly said it wants to dispose of its stake in Hapag-Lloyd to focus on tourism. The company, based in Hanover, Germany, hasn’t been able to find a buyer. The increase of its stake is the result of the conversion of a hybrid loan for Hapag-Lloyd into equity, according to the company’s statement in September.

A spokesman for TUI didn’t immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.

A Hamburg-based investor group, including German billionaire Klaus Michael Keuhne, M.M. Warburg, HSH Nordbank and Hamburg’s state government, bought a majority stake in Hapag-Lloyd.

click here for link to article

Monday, December 6, 2010

ILA admits Mob still a problem on NY/NJ docks

From the Journal of Commerce, who has covered the Waterfront Commission hearings.

Mob ‘Schemes’ Persist on Docks, Monitor Says
Joseph Bonney | Dec 2, 2010 10:24PM GMT


“The schemes are still there. … If you eliminate that, you’re going to bring the costs down,” said Robert C. Stewart, deputy administrator of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1588, which has been under a court-appointed monitor since 2003.

Stewart testified in the last of six hearings the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor held to highlight no-show jobs and other practices it says drive up costs and invite Mafia influence at the port.

I guess the Waterfront commission hearings are over. This is how it wrapped up.

The hearings ended with the display of several complex charts detailing family and other connections between Genovese crime family members and ILA officials and members that Commissioner Ron Goldstock said included a “privileged few” who received high pay for relatively little work.

Stewart testified that the court-appointed administrators at Local 1588 struggled to break a “culture of corruption” reinforced by decades of Genovese crime family control. He said the mob used its influence over company hiring agents to demand payoffs for jobs and training and relief assignments that led to higher-paying jobs.

He said Local 1588 members used to have to buy tickets to an annual Christmas party of Nicholas Furina, a hiring agent who was banned from the docks after pleading guilty to extorting union members for jobs. He said that practice was banned after the monitors took over.

“People think that if there’s not gunplay down on the piers and people getting beat up and thrown in the river, things must be OK. That’s not the case,” Stewart said.

So, it's improved a little from the days of "On The Waterfront", but not by much.

click here for link to article

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Need a job? Apply to be an independent inspector

The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor (as they call themselves) is taking applications for;

"expressions of interest and statements of qualifications in being considered for appointment as independent private sectors inspector general"

click here for link to explanation and application form

Deadline is Dec. 31, 2010

I suppose that should be enough time for any established company to apply.

These "independent inspectors" will be hired by a stevedore company, who has in the past, had some "questionable" owners. It's the Waterfront Commissions idea of the way to keep organized crime off the Waterfront. Apparently all of the stevedores companies currently licensed are operating under temporary licenses. (as mentioned in my post of Nov. 15

all (stevedoring) companies doing business in the Port were operating on short-term temporary licenses, which were intended to be used only in special circumstances.

I just don't know any companies who would really be in this business, but maybe there are some law firms who might be interested.

I especially like the list of "area of expertise" one can choose from.

Here's the first few

-Accounting/Audits/Financial Review


-Organized Crime



I guess they listed them in order of most important. I'm not sure.