The dispute between cash buyer GMS and NGO Shipbreaking Platform seems to have reached a tipping point as both sides resort to legal counseling following the NGO’s claims that the company enabled beaching of ships on several occasions.
The latest example saw GMS being linked to Seatrade’s four reefers being sold for demolition to yards in countries with poor working conditions and substandard environmental practices.
The company vehemently opposed the accusation which was later withdrawn as incorrect with NGO Shipbreaking stating that GMS was not the end-buyer of Seatrade’s vessels.
However, the Platform claims that GMS was confirmed as cash buyer in several other cases involving illegal hazardous waste exports that are being/have been investigated by authorities and the police in several countries.
In the latest turn of events, GMS sent a letter to the Platform saying it would sue the NGO unless the Platform removes all mention of GMS from their website, the Platform said.
“We have no intention to remove truthful information from our website and will not apologize for reporting on the business of trafficking ships for dirty and dangerous breaking. It is our organization’s mission to provide authorities, journalists, and industry stakeholders with information on the deplorable realities of current shipbreaking practices which encourage the circumvention of existing labor and environmental protection laws,” Ingvild Jenssen, Founder and Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, said.
Furthermore, the Platform dubbed the move “harassment by GMS” which came on the back of an earlier threat to sue the Platform made by PHP, a Bangladeshi shipbreaking yard.
In a letter released by the NGO addressing GMS-DMCC Dubai’s legal representative, GMS requested removal of all defamatory articles and their recirculation, among other things.