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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Special incentives for Israeli ships - theSun

PETALING JAYA (June 7, 2010): PORT KLANG-based Westports Bhd had offered rebates and special privileges to Israeli subsidiary Gold Star Line Ltd.
Westports’ special arrangement with Gold Star in 1999 was adduced as evidence in a Singapore High Court civil suit earlier this year, that Zim Integrated Shipping Services, its subsidiary Gold Star, Seth Shipping Ltd and Star Shipping Agencies brought against its former Asia president Capt Dafni Igal and four others, including Malaysian shipping agency Starship Agencies Sdn Bhd.

Zim had accused Starship Agencies of breaching its duty as an agent in failing to account for money it received from Westports.

(On its website, Westports lists Gold Star as one of the 26 main line operators that use the port.)
According to court documents, Westports agreed to grant Gold Star:
>> annual rebate of 5% on port tariffs for outbound containers between 2000 and 2005;
>> annual transshipment rebates on port tariffs from 2000-2001;
>> waivers and refunds on storage and special requests charges from 2003-2005;

The court was told the above rebates and waivers from Westports totalling RM3.5 million were received by Starship Agencies but were not passed on to Gold Star or Zim.

However, the court also heard that Westports also accorded special treatment to Zim’s competitors.

Zim told the court that Igal should have fired Starship Agencies for failing to get competitive rates for trucking and storage and produced documents to show that its rival CMA-CGM paid far less. While the French container line paid RM35 per container, Zim paid RM80 and on another run, CMA-CGM paid RM70 while Zim paid RM160.

Judge Lai Sui Chiu rejected all eight counts against Igal for allegedly siphoning off Malaysian port rebate money and being in breach of contract by working for a rival firm. She told Zim, its Gold Star Line and Seth Shipping units and Star Shipping Agencies that they had failed to produce enough evidence to prove that Igal or his associates were involved in a breach of contract or had committed other alleged offences. -theSun


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