Turkish Cargo Ship Seized in Ukraine

A Turkish cargo ship has been arrested by Ukrainian authorities for having called at ports in Crimea thus violating sanctions imposed on the region’s ports.

The ship’s captain has been detained and the crew of 12 members are on board the vessel, currently being held in Ukrainian port of Kherson, as confirmed by the latest Marine Traffic data.

Reuters cited the local prosecutors as saying that the crew is facing jail time of up to three years.

Crimea was official annexed by Russia in May last year. Soon after Ukraine imposed a ban on Crimean port calls in July.

The general cargo vessel was detained in Kherson, Ukraine, on March 4th, after a port inspection found a number of deficiencies which lead to the vessel’s subsequent arrest and seizure of documentation.

The vessel is believed to have called Crimea ports several times without permission of Ukrainian authorities making the vessel subject to heavy fine or confiscation.

However, the 2006-built Kanton, owned by Master Shipping Ltd, called at Sevastopol to pick up a cargo of feed barley in June 2014, Reuters reported citing the owner.

Master Shipping told Reuters that the ship call was made before the ban and that the ship was afterwards given permission to enter other ports.

The seizure comes despite the issued written permission, the move Master Shipping called illegal.

World Maritime News Staff