MARGAO: Taking serious note of the criminal case lodged against officials of the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI), who have been accused of embezzling more than Rs 10 crore from the provident funds, social allowances and welfare fund contributions of 1.6 lakh seafarers working on foreign flagships, the Directorate General of Shipping in Mumbai has directed all shipping companies, seafarers unions and associations to thoroughly examine their accounts, and report back with any discrepancies they find.
The Mumbai police have registered a case under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) based on a complaint lodged by the secretary of the Forward Seamen's Union of India at the Mata Ramabai Ambedkar Marg police station. The case was transferred to the economic offences wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police for further investigation. "The Directorate has taken note of the seafarer's wages being allegedly deducted and not deposited in SWES/SPFO/gratuity funds by the ship-owners which would be in contravention of the provision of the MS Act 1958 as amended, MS notices/circulars and orders issued," said the circular issued by the Directorate General of Shipping on Thursday.
Deputy Director General of Shipping Ashish Sinha has directed all associations and unions of seafarers, all shipping companies who are not members of any association and the ship management companies to examine their accounts and confirm whether deductions towards SPF and SWF have been made and remitted to the SPFO and SWFS, along with details of gratuity contributions made.
The associations have also been asked to check for the collection of funds from seafarers contrary to the provisions of Section 97 of the MS Act 1958 as amended.