Us Navy sinks aussie battlers

Whilst a fleet of USN war ships are coasting about in Queensland waters, their crews enjoying the hospitality offered by Sydney and Brisbane a small Australian marine services company – Aspect Marine Services has been ripped off by the US Navy to the tune of AUD160, 000.

“Is this another Fat Leonard scandal?” asks Aspect’s CEO & master mariner- Captain Ted Van Bronwijk.

The US Navy commissioned HK port agent – Mike Ng of Ocean Fame Logistics in Hong Kong to manage services for the US fleet oiler USNS “Rappahannock” during its two day Brisbane stay in August 2017.

Ocean Fame contracted the work to Aspect, which was appointed as *ship’s husband” (an agent responsible for providing maintenance and supplies for a ship in port).

Aspect arranged services for Rappahannock including – Port of Brisbane fees, hire cars and transport, pilotage, tugs and linesmen, waste disposal, wharfage charges and security provided by Queensland Police.

Captain Van Bronwijk said “Ocean Fame did pay some of the initial fees promptly which gave Aspect the confidence to continue provide services”.

Since 2017 Capt. Van Bronswijk – has made many approaches to Ocean Fame who claim they have made payments via Western Union and HK banks however the funds have never been received by Aspect.

In 2019 legal proceedings were taken by Aspect against Ocean Fame HK. Legal investigations proved that Mike Ng even though he signed the contract as a managing director was never registered as such. It was also discovered that Ocean Fame has no assets, owes numerous debts, and was evicted from its rented office in a sleazy area of Kowloon.

Including the original debt + ongoing legal fees including the court action in HK, Aspect is now owed over AUD 500,000.00 for the services it rendered in good faith to the US Navy back in August 2017.

The question remains as to why the US Navy would entrust a supply contract for one of its vessels to such a disreputable organisation?

Aspect’s Maritime Lawyer Peter Murphy, advises “if USNS Rappanhannock was a merchant vessel the ship could have been arrested in port and detained until the debt was settled however, as the ship a US Naval vessel and attached to the US Fleet exercising in Australian waters at the time, it is subject to diplomatic immunity and untouchable from a legal point of view”.

The US Navy does not respond to the many communications sent by Murphy including letters to the US Ambassador in Canberra and the US Consulate in Sydney which have been ignored.

· The US Navy will only confirm that Ocean Fame had been fully paid.

· Ocean Fame was evicted from its premises and is no longer operational.

· As for Mike Ng – whilst he still has a Linked In profile he appears to have “gone AWOL”.

/Public Release.