To keep an eye on the movements of 19 crew members, including 13 Indian seamen, onboard an oil tanker, the Indonesian Maritime police was deployed. The crew members of the vessel, MT Strovolos, said that at least five armed men were deployed in one shift, which will rotate, on the ship in Indonesia. The seafarers have been interrogated in shifts ashore.
The disturbing developments have intimidated crew members. The Indian crew members have sent a letter to Manoj Yadav, the general secretary of the Forward Seamen’s Union of India. The latter has been striving to bring the stranded crew members from India back home.
The incident, which is both diplomatic and international, has violated human rights. They have restricted the movements of crew members onboard MT Strovolos, which was seized at Batam in Indonesia. False allegations have been made on the crew members, which could easily mean life imprisonment if not correctly intervened and acted upon by diplomatic channels.
Citing the crew’s innocence, the individuals onboard also mentioned in their letter that the vessel followed the commercial operator’s instructions and had no means to check if the orders are legally sound. Charterers’ orders are to be followed by the company and the master. They added that they are in grave danger as they have been on board for a year and have not even been given due medical attention.
The crew onboard MT Strovolos are now victims of a commercial dispute between two companies: Kris Energy, the oil producer, and the government of Cambodia. The crew members followed all instructions by Kris Energy, said the brother of a crew member from India.
Another relative of a stranded seafarer said that they have learned from international articles about Kris Energy being bankrupt, and all problems stemmed from there. The elderly parents of yet another crewmate failed to comprehend what exactly went wrong.
A World Tankers spokesperson has reportedly said that the Cambodian government has never proved to the vessel owners that it owns all oil barrels currently on board, and no agreement was ever reached with KrisEnergy regarding payment. It appears to the vessel owners that the Cambodian government may have failed to solve issues with KrisEnergy and therefore, is now adopting unethical and unpleasant tactics to coerce owners to accept claims without proof of payment.
The government of Cambodia has lately been accused of using unethical tactics to gain control of about 300,000 barrels of oil on board MT Strovolos. In July, the barrels of oil were seized by the Indonesian maritime authorities.
The freedom of 19 crew members is also at stake. The seamen were chartered by KrisEnergy, a Singapore-based firm, to support the production…Read the full article.