The criminalisation of seafarers who uncover contraband on their vessels is hampering the fight against organised drug smuggling, the International Chamber of Shipping says.

The case of Polish master Andrzej Lasota highlighted how doing the “right thing” resulted in his “counterproductive” arrest and 20-month detention in Mexico, ICS security expert John Stawpert told TradeWinds.

Lasota was arrested in July 2019 despite reporting the discovery of 240 kg of cocaine buried under several thousand tonnes of petcoke coal on his 31,900-dwt multipurpose vessel UBC Savannah (built 2000).