The geo-political case of the hijacking in July 2020 of the GULF SKY from UAE waters to Iran with 28 Indian crew has been further investigated by the BBC in a long-read article now available on-line.
First reported by HRAS on 27 May 2020 as a case of alleged welfare and labour rights abuse of seafarers onboard the vessel anchored in the UAE’s Khor Fakkan Anch anchorage, the matter unexpectedly escalated in mid-July when, on 14 July 2020, HRAS reported increasing concerns as to the whereabouts of the vessel and crew.
Against a curious background of conflicting stakeholder positions, activities and recollections, the crew were taken to the port of Bandar Abbas in southern Iran, flown internally to Tehran, and then repatriated home to India.
Some media speculation at the time suggested that the crew had been complicit in the incident but to date, there is no evidence to support such an assertion.
The vessel’s whereabouts remains unknown having been reflagged and renamed.
The incident has involved multiple stakeholders and state level interests from the Middle East, Far East, Indian sub-continent, to the USA.
Meantime, the crew are collectively owed over USD$200,000 in wages and at the time of writing, they still have not been paid.