British insurance companies are involved in the illegal exploitation of phosphate from Western Sahara, according to P for Plunder, a new report from Western Sahara Resource Watch.
Morocco has illegally occupied Western Sahara since 1975. One resource that Morocco illegally exports from occupied Sahrawi territory is phosphate, used in artificial fertilisers.
Western Sahara has been one of the world’s largest suppliers of high-quality phosphate rock.
Eight British ‘protection and indemnity insurance’ companies insured the vast majority of Sahrawi phosphate shipments in 2020.
According to Western Sahara Resource Watch, these mostly London-based P&I companies insured 19 Moroccan shipments carrying around $150 million-worth of conflict phosphate.
For example, the West of England Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association insured the shipment of 55,000 tonnes of Sahrawi phosphate rock to New Zealand in mid-2020.
This was one of two conflict shipments insured by West of England, whose head office is: One Creechurch Place, Creechurch Lane, London EC3A 5AF.
In the past, Western Sahara Resource Watch has successfully lobbied shipping companies to withdraw from Sahrawi phosphate transportation.
The full P for Plunder report can be downloaded from: www.wsrw.org