SEVEN Lithuanian seafarers are reportedly being held in custody in Puerto Rico on suspicion of pollution violations, despite their vessel being released.
The Lithuania-flagged,16,906dwt cargo ship Deltuva was seized in late April after its crew allegedly dumped bilge water into the port at San Juan, the Lithuanian Morning newspaper reported. The vessel was also found to be without necessary water treatment equipment on board, authorities said.
The ship’s owner Lietuvos juru laivininkyste, which is 61.44% owned by the Lithuanian government, secured the release of the ship by paying a bond of $500,000. But the seafarers are still being held and are facing prosecution, despite efforts by Lithuanian representatives in the US to have them released.
Lithuanian consul Laimutis Rubinskas told reporters: “No charges have yet been filed, but the US Coast Guard has already passed investigation over to the Justice Department, which usually happens when there is a real case to answer.”
Source: SAFETY AT SEA INTERNATIONAL