The bulker will not be seen in Australian waters for the next 12 months. File Image / Pixabay
A dry bulk carrier has been banned from Australian waters for the alleged mistreatment of the seafarers serving on the vessel.
The Australian Maritime Safety Agency has banned the Liberian-flagged bulker MSXT Emily from the country's waters for a year after finding 'apparent serious issues of wage theft and seafarer mistreatment onboard', the authority said in a statement on its website on Thursday.
The AMSA inspected the ship after a tip-off from the International Transport Workers' Federation.
The vessel had been chartered by K Line to take a coal cargo to Japan.
"Seafarers onboard the vessel had not been paid in accordance with their Seafarer Employment Agreements (employment contracts): four contained apparently-forged signatures from employees, and five seafarers appeared to have been coerced into signing new employment agreements which had lower salaries," the AMSA said.
"In one case, a seafarer had signed a new contract, while they still held a contract valid for a further four months, for 50 per cent less pay.
"Inspectors found evidence that more than US$77,000 in unpaid wages had been owed to seafarers working onboard the MSXT Emily, with the ship's operators (MSM Ship Management Pte Ltd China) attempting to pay the amount owed once they were aware that AMSA inspectors were onboard."