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Libyan ports stay closed as dockers flee violence

Libya’s major ports were staying closed this week after shipping lines said they were unwilling for their ships to call at the country amid concerns for the safety of the crew...

Libyan ports stay closed as dockers flee violence
08 March 2011 - 23:41
Libya’s major ports were staying closed this week after shipping lines said they were unwilling for their ships to call at the country amid concerns for the safety of the crew or the vessel becoming stuck as dock workers flee or join the nationwide protests. A spokesman for forwarder Tuscor Lloyds told IFW that operations at Tripoli, Benghazi and Misurata had stopped.

He said: “We are still accepting cargo for Libya, but the containers are being discharged in Italy at the moment – in Gioia Tauro or La Spezia – and are waiting to be sent on once the situation gets better in Libya.

“At the moment, we are advising customers that containers will be delayed getting to Libya.”

Meanwhile the UK has imposed an export control order banning any Libyan currency leaving the country, following a failed attempt to ship £100 million (US$162.9m) to Tripoli last week.

Containers aboard the German-owned Sloman Provider, destined for Libya, were seized by the UK Border Agency.

The Home Office said: “The ship was escorted into the port of Harwich by the UK Border Agency cutter HMC Vigilant.

“A number of containers were offloaded and taken under control of the agency and have been moved to a secure location.”

The move followed the UN Security Council’s travel and assets embargo on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime following violent retaliation to civil protests. 

The UK has also frozen a reported £2 billion-worth of Colonel Gaddafi’s assets in the country
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