J. Lauritzen, the Danish shipping conglomerate, has been accused of plundering natural resources from the occupied Western Sahara, a report said.
February 22, 2008
The exiled government of Western Sahara has accused the company of contributing to the theft of natural resources from the indigenous people of the territory, said the ethical watchdog Danwatch.
When Morocco took control of the region in the 1970s, a large portion of Western Sahara's indigenous population was driven away and Morocco staked its claim on the territory's most important natural resource, phosphate extracted from mines for fertilizers and other products. A Lauritzen cargo vessel is used in the phosphate shipping, the Copenhagen Post said.
The United Nations condemned the Moroccan occupation and established that any trade with minerals from occupied territories that does not benefit the indigenous peoples of the land is in breach of international legislation.
Jens Ditlev Lauritzen, vice-president of the shipping company, said he saw no ethical responsibility in the matter. He said the vessel was chartered to a Greek shipping company that in turn had leased it to a Korean company.
The French company Alcatel Submarine Networks SpA, partially owned by Nokia, has laid telecom cables in occupied Western Sahara.
India and New Zealand stand out as the main importers of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara, in WSRW’s newest annual report on the controversial trade.
At its Annual General Meeting, Siemens Gamesa was as evasive as ever with regard to core questions about the company's involvement in occupied Western Sahara.
The WSRW report P for Plunder 2021 to be published in April 2021 will contain information on all 22 vessels that departed occupied Western Sahara from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.