It rarely happens that vessels transport phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara to India. However, an 8 million dollar consignment is at present being offloaded in port of Paradip.
The Greek flagged bulk vessel MV Zagora, arrived the port of Paradip, on the east coast of India, on 26 May. The investigative Indian online journal Cobra Post awaited the carrier as it came in
. MV Zagora contained 70.000 tonnes of phosphates, with a value of approximately 8 million US dollars. Cobra Post tried to get comments from the local phosphate company, Paradeep Phosphates, without success.Paradeep Phosphates Limited (PPL) is jointly held by the Adventz Group of India, and Morocco’s OCP Group
through Zuari Maroc Phosphates Ltd (ZMPL). ZMPL holds an 80,45% stake in PPL, which produces and markets fertilizers, chemicals and by-products.
This is most probably not the first time that OCP’s Joint-Venture in India imports goods from the occupied territory. WSRW found in the annual accounts of Paradeep Phosphates that it seems to have received a vessel also at one point during 2011-2012
. WSRW contacted the company in 9 Feb 2015 inquiring about the imports, but did not get an answer.
Last time India received a vessel was in March 2014, to another company in Tuticorin. WSRW was not able to identify the importer at the time. In all likelihood, no shipments took place between the Paradeep vessel in 2011-2012 and the one to Tuticorin in March 2014.
Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco since 1975. The exports of phosphate rock provide financial backing to the occupation and lends an unfortunate sign of legitimacy to the baseless Moroccan claims to the land. The International Court of Justice has concluded that Morocco’s claim of sovereignty over the land is unfounded