86 Pakistani sailors on four ships in danger: starving, uninsured, unpaid

– Provided by reporter
  • The owner refuses to pay wages, putting the lives and safety of seafarers at risk as the ships are without insurance cover and guarantees.
  • Pakistani ships are on four ships namely Avon, Sol, Loa and Ariana.
  • The four ships have no insurance cover and their crews have not been paid for almost four months.

LONDON: The lives of at least 86 Pakistani seafarers are at risk after the owners of four ships owned by St James Shipping refused to pay their wages, putting their lives and safety at risk as the ships sailed without Insurance covers and guarantees.

The Pakistani ships are on four vessels, Avon, Sol, Loa and Ariana, owned by St James Shipping Limited and managed by Global Radiance Ship Management (GRSM) and financed by US-based Entrust.

The four ships have no insurance cover and their crews have not been paid for more than four months, according to available evidence, according to a legal source involved in preparing the legal case at Britain’s High Court. .

All four ships lack basic supplies for human needs and spares to keep the ships safe for the crew and seaworthy. Singapore-based manager GRSM has been developing and supplying the bill for the ships for the past year, according to St James’ management – CEO Sam Tari Verdi and managing director Panagiotis Postitz (Agis). with an assurance that those payments will be made. GRSM said

It is understood that GRSM Group ship managers have contacted Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to inform them of the situation surrounding the 23 Pakistani members who are on board the Ariana in the Yemeni port of Al Mokha. The area has been declared a war zone.

Pakistani crew members are living in uncertainty and suffering without basic necessities and required insurance as the ship owner is unable to fulfill its legal obligations towards the crew members and keep the ship safe and seaworthy. Failed to keep.

The legal source said the vessel was brought to the port due to engine failure. According to sources, the Pakistani crew members were forced to land at Al Muqah even though it was known that the aircraft was in a war zone and it would be unsafe for the crew to land in a war zone.

Sources said that the condition of the ship’s crew is very bad which the owner of the ship deliberately did to the extent that they did not provide water and food for the crew so that they agreed to leave the ship in unsafe condition. go The insurance of the same ship covered by the American Club was canceled months ago and all are exposed in case of any incident or accident.

The source said: “Pakistan’s foreign ministry has contacted various maritime security agencies and naval forces in the region to apprise them of the plight of Pakistani nationals. However, there has been no practical progress so far and A total of 86 Pakistani nationals on board the four ships are living in unsafe conditions and in extreme danger.They need international assistance for their safe return home.

The crisis for Pakistani crew members began in early January when the owner seized funds from the ship’s management company.

Two vessels Avon and Sol are currently under arrest by vendors in India from June 6, 2022 due to long overdue payments to the owners. Evan is arrested in Mumbai and Sol is also arrested in Hazira. Both ships have Pakistani crews who have not been paid for nearly four months.

The ship’s communication system has been down for about a month due to unpaid invoices from the owner, the legal source said. The source said: “Basically the owner has abandoned both vessels and is not fulfilling any obligations as the rightful owner of the vessel.

Lenders Entrust wants to repossess these ships for judicial sale proceedings but the owner is not cooperating with the creditors and innocent crew are suffering in this dispute between the ship owner and the creditors.

The Loa has been at the Las Calderas shipyard in Santo Domingo for the past five months and was previously at the Demon Shipyard in Cracow where she remained for four months but the owner’s lack of funds meant that she could not be taken away. Asked to leave Krakow Shipyard. Any docking/repair work, source shared.

A fifth vessel, the Victor 1, has been seized by crew for unpaid wages as well as by the vendor for non-payment of long outstanding invoices from owner St James. The total number of crew on this ship is 17, including 13 Indonesians and four Pakistanis.

In response to questions directed to St James Shipping CEO Sam Tarivardi, a spokesman said they had all been provided with “excellent quality deliveries” “even in very difficult locations”.

There are no Pakistani personnel in any of the war zones and those who are in India, we have asked the agents for their immediate return. If you are in direct contact with staff, please ask them to send us their last paycheck and we will arrange payments and send them back to them immediately.

The spokesman said: “We are knowingly vulnerable to third-party arrests and have prioritized the welfare of our staff above all else in this difficult situation.”