Captain Rajesh Unni, Founder and CEO of Synergy Group, one of the world’s leading ship managers and one of India’s largest maritime enterprises, believes shipping is becoming a more transparent industry, but more can and should be done to tackle corruption.

Speaking as he took up his new position after being elected as Vice-Chair at the Denmark-based Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN), Captain Unni said the shipping sector needed to pull out all the stops against corruption.

“Ridding out the shipping of corruption must be a core objective as we become an even more transparent and sustainable industry. MACN is leading this fight, and as Vice-Chair, I will endeavour to do my utmost to help MACN achieve its goals,” said Captain Unni.

50% of the world’s tonnage

Established in 2011, MACN consists of more than 165 member companies which collectively represent 50 per cent of the world’s tonnage. MACN’s objective is to have a maritime industry that is free of corruption and enables fair trade to the benefit of society at large.

In 2019, MACN launched a port integrity campaign in India to reduce and in the long term eliminate integrity issues and bottlenecks to trade during operations at Indian ports with a pilot campaign at Mumbai and JNPT ports.

Earlier this year, MACN announced its intention to deepen its engagement in India by expanding to additional ports including Chennai. It also said it would deploy some of its tested anti-corruption tools to the maritime industry in India.

New chair too takes over

Joining Captain Unni at MACN is the newly elected MACN Chair Ann Shazell, Group Lead Lawyer for Cargill’s Ocean Transportation business. Cecilia Müller Torbrand, CEO, MACN, said she is “very pleased” to welcome both Ann and Rajesh to these roles.

“Both are recognised industry leaders with strong skill sets. I would also like to thank John Sypnowich, who stepped down from the Chair after four years in the role, for his commitment, passion, and drive over the last four years. He has helped lead MACN through a period of extraordinary achievement and growth,” she said.

Shazell said this is an exciting time for MACN with the growth of our membership, the expansion of its collective action work and HelpDesk support network, and the development and launch of our Global Port Integrity Platform.