Detained Iranian Ship Escapes Sri Lanka's Waters

By MarEx 2013-01-17 15:37:00

An Iranian cargo ship, currently in the middle of a financial battle with a German lender, has escaped Sri Lanka despite warnings to remain anchored.

The M.V. Amina was under surveillance for over two weeks after Germany’s DVB Bank obtained a Sri Lankan court order to hold it. It was anchored just outside of Sri Lanka’s territorial waters, so they technically had no jurisdiction to arrest it.

It is still unclear as to what cargo the M.V. Amina was carrying or where it is heading. Local reports state that the vessel’s Iranian owners owe a large amount of money to the German bank.

The Sri Lankan navy did fire warning shots at the Amina last week in an attempt to stop the vessel from leaving, but it still managed to slip out in rough seas late Wednesday. The vessel had been travelling from China and reached Sri Lanka's southern port of Galle late last month.

Eight Indian crewmembers left the ship, despite ongoing arguments over their salaries. Two others were evacuated for medical treatment.

There was no court order for authorities to board the ship, only to keep it under observation and track its movements. It also did not commit any crime in Sri Lankan waters; therefore they did not act to seize it forcefully.