after their repatriation from Tehran in mid-July following the hijack of their
vessel while anchored off Port Khor Fakkan Anch, United Arab Emirates, the 28
Indian seafarers of the MT Gulf Sky remain neglected, says non-profit Human
Rights at Sea.
The crew’s wages remain unpaid since March 2020
The crew’s wages
remain unpaid since March 2020 totalling in excess of US$197,000, while the
crew’s Continuous Discharge Certificates are still retained by UAE authorities,
pending an ongoing criminal investigation by government prosecutors.
reported by Human Rights at Sea and the Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime
Administration, the complex commercial and geo-political case of the MT Gulf
Sky continues to be under investigation at state level.
“Human Rights at
Sea and the flag administration have been jointly engaged with the
correspondents for the New Zealand based Maritime Mutual Insurance Association,
though to date, there has been no satisfactory response in terms of finalising
payment of outstanding crew wages,” HRAS said in a statement.
The Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration considering a
of Dominica Maritime Administration has submitted a final demand letter to
MMIA, and is considering a criminal complaint.
responded and highlighted that the P&I Club is aware that the shipowners,
Taif Mining Oman, had been placed under US Office of Foreign Assets sanctions
after the vessel was entered with the Club,” HRAS said.
contracts were originally entered into with the India-based company, Seven Seas
Navigation India, though it remains unclear why the company have themselves not
settled outstanding payments to the crew
P&I Club has been advised that the vessel managers United Islands Maritime
Ventures Private Ltd, based in India, had been involved in paying wages to the
crew, though this also appears now to have ceased.
Fines in excess of US$5,000,000 levied against the owners of the
Fines in excess of
US$5,000,000 have now been levied against the owners of the vessel and United
Islands Maritime Ventures Private, respectively, by the flag administration.
“The crew continue
to submit their case to all parties who will hear them, including the Director
General Shipping India, maritime unions, welfare and civil-society
“To date, their collective voice has been effectively ignored,” said
CEO, Human Rights at Sea said, “It is undeniably frustrating to continually
fail to be able to provide the crew with any credible news relating to when
their outstanding wages will be paid, and when their CDCs will be returned.
their families are suffering unnecessarily.”