India seeks insurance details of hijacked ship

May 23rd, 2008 - 2:05 am ICT by admin  

Mumbai, May 22 (IANS) The Director-General of Shipping (DGS) in Mumbai is trying to find out whether or not the hijacked Jordanian cargo ship M.V. Victoria, its 10 Indian and other crew members, and its cargo were covered under insurance. It has also sought from the ship’s managers in Sharjah, the Marwan Shipping Company, information on the amount for which the ship was insured, contract details of the 10 Indian crew members aboard the ship and other details.

But the company has not responded so far, and now the DGS has sought the contact details from the Jordanian ministry of transport.

It has also sought details about the status of the ongoing negotiations with the hijackers and the wellbeing of the crew members aboard the ship.

The DGS is also inquiring with shipping masters in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata to ascertain if the Continuous Discharge Certificates of the 10 Indian crew were issued in India.

M.V. Victoria of Jordan was hijacked May 17 off Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital in north-east Africa. The 21-member crew includes 10 Indians - Uttam Bhattacharjee, Sombir Kumar, Jayeshmukar Tandela, Naresh Tandel, Akhilesh Singh, Sadashiv Yadav, Chandrakant Tandel, Iman Ghosh, Leslye Anselmo Gomes and Jaivindh Jose R.

The ship is at present anchored at a small port in a coastal village, Murgane, around 500 nautical miles from Mogadishu.

The DGS said in a statement in Mumbai Wednesday that negotiations were taken up and the crewmembers - 10 Indians, 2 Pakistanis, 3 Myanmarese, 3 Kenyans, 2 Bangladeshis - were “reported to be safe”.

The ship, headed from Mumbai in India, was carrying 4,200 tonnes of sugar donated by Denmark to war-torn Somalia as aid when it was hijacked 40 nautical miles off Mogadishu.

The hijacking of M.V. Victoria is the third such incident to be reported in Somalia in the past five months.

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