Aftenposten: Bergen shipowner blasted for trade with Western Sahara

Members of parliaments in Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand and at home in Norway are not at all happy with shipowning firm Gearbulk. Aftenposten, 29 June 2007.

Published 18 September 2007

Aftenposten, 29 June 2007.
29 June 2007

The longtime Bergen firm, now registered in Britain, has been accused of exploiting the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara.

Seven Norwegian politicians from the Labour, Socialist Left, Center and Liberal parties are among those who have signed a letter urging Gearbulk to halt its transport of phosphate from Western Sahara.

The letter charges Gearbulk with cooperating with an illegal occupation force, and thereby increasing the risk of more armed conflict, destabilization and suffering in Western Sahara.

Gearbulk, owned by a branch of the Norwegian Jebsen family, has been defying government recommendations against trade with Western Sahara.

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry, however, can only ask companies to avoid doing business with such troubled countries, and can't impose sanctions.

Gearbulk's bulk vessel Bulk Saturn tied up at Tauranga, New Zealand earlier this week, to unload a cargo from Western Sahara, according to

Gearbulk chairman Kristian Jebsen claimed in a press release that the company operates within existing laws and regulations. 

Aftenposten English Web Desk/NTB


Some Money Smells Too Bad

"It is surprising that mainly Bergen-owned Gearbulk sails for the occupying power Morocco". Read here editorial in one of Norway's biggest newspapers, Bergens Tidende, 29th of June 2008.

01 July 2008

Norwegian government party demands Gearbulk to terminate transports

A statement was unanimously adopted at the Norwegian Socialist Left Party\'s National Board meeting today, 16th of june 2008, asking Gearbulk to terminate its engagement in Western Sahara. The Socialist Left Party is the second biggest party in the Norwegian coalition government. Read the statement here.
16 June 2008

Norwatch: Gearbulk continuing unethical transport

Three Norwegian shipping companies have apologized and stopped their operations in occupied Western Sahara. However, the Bergen-owned company Gearbulk continues their controversial transports. Next week, yet another Gearbulk vessel is due to arrive in a New Zealand harbour with phosphates. The Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara argues that the Sahrawi population has suffered a financial loss amounting to 200 million USD, as a result of the shipments of this shipping company alone. Norwatch, 12 June 2008.
15 June 2008

About the Gearbulk shipments and the 'Simge Aksoy' bulk vessel

Read more about Gearbulk's involvement in Western Sahara, and the vessel Simge Aksoy here. As of June 2008, the vessel can have transported phosphates from Western Sahara for more than 200,000 million US dollars.

10 June 2008