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Full of interesting anecdotes, this post on Maersk Line’s website is about the company’s zero-tolerance approach to bribery, which is all very well when it refers to the company’s salesmen and middle-ranking executives keen to establish good relations with major clients; but is a different ballgame altogether for its vessel captains. Masters are constantly badgered for low-level gifts such as cigarettes and alcohol when they come into port, particularly by customs officials and other figures in authority, leaving some in unenviable positions, “In some ports, facilitation payments are so ingrained that officials consider them customary or part of their salary. For example, some officials refuse to grant shore leave unless they receive their cigarettes.” Amongst seafarers, the most notorious of all are the Suez Canal pilots.

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