Tuesday, November 10, 2015
When Eril Andrade came back from sea in a coffin his body was covered in bruises and cuts, and he was missing an eye and his pancreas. The handwritten note from his captain said he died in his sleep.
Ian Urbina's Series "The Outlaw Ocean" continues.
For local Filipino police investigators though the real mystery came when they realized that for over two decades thousands of other men from the Philippines and a half dozen other countries had been similarly recruited by a Singapore-based manning agency under false promises, dispatched to sea sometimes for years on notoriously violent and dangerous Taiwanese tuna longliners, then sent back home, often without pay. How could a firm like this operate with such impunity?
This next installment in The Outlaw Ocean series looks at the little-known industry of maritime manning agencies which supplies the crews working on most of the world's ships. We reported from Taipei, Cape Town, and Singapore but especially in the Philippines which produces roughly a quarter of seafarers globally. I focused on one firm in particular, Step Up Marine Enterprise, which recruited Mr. Andrade and has had an especially egregious track record of human trafficking over the years.