The most shocking shipping moments of 2019

Ravi Mehrotra declares himself the most famous face in shipping

Sadly, a poll of TradeWinds readers disagreed with the Foresight Group chairman, naming John Fredriksen as the industry’s most famous face.

Nobu Su goes to prison

Custodial sentences for contempt of court are considered a rare and extreme measure by English judges, but former shipowner Nobu Su is a rare and extreme character, who was jailed for 21 months in March.

Idan Ofer lets it all hang out in Mykonos

Israeli shipowner Idan Ofer hosted an extravagant Burning Man-themed party on Mykonos in August to celebrate his 10th wedding anniversary to his fourth wife. The party reportedly cost Ofer $5.5m. How much of that was spent on eyeliner remains unclear.

Families say seafarers that went down with their ship may still be alive

When the Sanchi sank in January 2018, it was thought that its entire crew were lost with it, but their families say a series of mysterious phone calls has led them to believe otherwise.

A ship operator is running its own fake environmental lobby group

Many shipping company are staunchly anti-scrubber, but none so much as Hudson Shipping, which has gone to extraordinary lengths to broadcast its views, as TradeWinds revealed in September.

A Sovcomflot subsidiary sues over a sex tape

Russian tanker company Novoship was revealed in August to be suing a Burford Capital executive, accusing him of unlawfully trading confidential documents for a sex tape relating to a US oil billionaire.

Greek police arrest a shipping scammer, who had been hiding in plain sight

A fraudster who conducted a $700m shipping investment scam was arrested while walking his dog in Athens in November, after hiding in plain sight for five years.

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Paddy Rodgers leaves Euronav … to run a museum

No one was expecting the chief executive of the one of the world’s biggest crude tanker owners to make the leap to Royal Museums Greenwich.

Authorities make a billion-dollar drugs bust on a MSC containership

The 15.5 tonnes of cocaine seized from containers onboard the MSC Gayane is thought to be the biggest haul ever.

The knives come out as Economou finally leaves Wall Street

It may not have been surprising that Greek owner George Economou finally took DryShips into private ownership in August, but the intensity of Wall Street’s reaction was certainly unexpected.

Frontline and Schulte tankers attacked off Fujairah

Tensions in the Middle East Gulf escalated this year, with Frontline’s tanker Front Altair and the Schulte-managed Kokuka Courageous suffering attacks while off Fujairah.

Ex-CSIC exec Sun Bo jailed for 12 years

China Shipbuilding Industry Corp (CSIC) executive Sun was jailed in July for bribery and abusing power, which Chinese state media described as “lenient”.

VLCC rates spike at almost $300,000 per day — in October

It turns out that $300,000 per day fixtures lasted only a few hours before failing, but nevertheless the rate spike

The strange saga of the Grace 1 …

Authorities in Gibraltar detained the tankerGrace 1 in Gibraltar on suspicion that the VLCC was carrying Iranian crude to Syria.

… And the Stena Impero

Iran retaliated shortly after by seizing the Stena Bulk tanker Stena Impero. The shipowner’s chief executive Erik Hanell talked to TradeWinds in October and revealed his company’s 71-day battle to free the vessel and its 23 crew.


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