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Indian ship to be auctioned in United Kingdom to pay the crew's wages

A UK court has given the go-ahead to British authorities for selling an Indian ship detained in Scotland since last year to recover the unpaid wages of 11-member Indian crew.

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) believes that the crew, still aboard the vessel 'Malaviya Seven', are now owed more than Rs 5.25 Crores ($803,760).

It expects that the sale of the ship by an auction will cover the unpaid wages of the 11-member Indian crew.

The vessel's owner Mumbai's GOL Offshore Limited is now in liquidation.

A writ had been served on the vessel by the court earlier which prevented the ship from leaving Aberdeen Harbour in Scotland.

"When a ship is found to be not in compliance with applicable convention requirements, a deficiency may be raised. If any of their deficiencies are so serious they have to be rectified before departure, then the ship will be detained," the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said in a statement. This was yet another reason why the ship was detained.

The Indian crew has been supported by local charities during their stay in Scotland, including Aberdeen's Catholic community.

They have refused to leave the ship over fears that they may never be paid and said while they have missed their families, they had found local people very welcoming.

'The 'Malaviya' was detained twice last year over unpaid wages, first in June 2016 after being contracted to British Petroleum.

The crew was eventually paid and the ship was released but it returned to Aberdeen under a different contract two months later and detained on identical charges.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court said there has already been interest in the vessel, which will be advertised for sale around the world.

Aberdeen Harbour hopes to recover some of its costs to pay for the ship's long stay at the port but has said it will not take the funds out of the crew's wages. In short payment of crew's wages will get precedence over harbour dues.

The UK is part of a regional agreement known as the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control under which information on all ships inspected is held centrally in an electronic database.


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