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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: The minister and the master

Listen to the latest edition of the Lloyd’s List’s weekly podcast — your free weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping

The Lloyd’s List Podcast has been in Cyprus talking to shipping deputy minister Vassilios Demetriades about sanctions, diplomacy and how the island republic punches above its weight. We also discuss seafarer criminalisation with the remarkable Capt Lasota, a Polish master wrongfully imprisoned in Mexico for more than 20 months


THIS week’s edition of the podcast is delivered from Cyprus, from where our markets editor Michelle Wiese Bockmann attended the Cyprus Maritime 2022 conference.

More than 900 delegates from 35 countries gathered at one of Europe’s most important maritime clusters to discuss the three Cs — crises, challenges and competitiveness.

Cyprus shipping deputy minister Vassilios Demetriades is our guest this week and he talks us through the challenges in making sure that the island republic punches above its weight when it comes to the very important issues facing European shipping right now.

As well as decarbonisation, Cyprus is also talking with G7 countries and the EU about the implementation of sanctions on Russian exports and a proposed oil price cap.

But first Michelle caught up with Capt Lasota, a Polish master with 52 years of experience at sea.

He moved many at the conference to tears after he finished his speech detailing his experience of a wrongful, 20-month stint in a Mexican jail.

His resilience, courage, and strength through what was a traumatic ordeal for his family is quite remarkable.

Capt Lasota attended the conference as a special guest of the Cyprus shipping deputy ministry who wanted to showcase the issue of seafarer criminalisation in the most powerful way possible.

Capt Lasota’s crew on their Cyprus-flagged ship found 240 kg of cocaine in the hold at a port in Mexico in July 2019. He correctly reported the discovery to authorities and correctly followed all procedures.

Heavily armed guards arrived at the ship after a five-day investigation and took him to jail and then wrongly detained him, triggered the 20-month campaign for his freedom.

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