Another ship flees Malta without paying for its bunkers

A Turkish general cargo vessel has departed from Malta without paying for the bunkers it took on while in port – the third such incident in just over a year.

The Feyza Genc (3,500 dwt, built 1993) left port on June 24, owing €42,415 to its Maltese bunker supplier Cassar Fuel Limited. The vessel’s registered owner is Turkey-based GNC Denizcilik Hizmetleri.

The bunker supplier has obtained a court order for seizure of the vessel. However, the decree must be executed by Transport Malta, which Cassar blames for allowing the vessel to lift anchor and  get away, according to the Times of Malta.

A spokesman for Cassar said the company has filed a judicial protest to claim damages from Transport Malta for the incident.

The getaway is the third such incident in over a year. In April 2014, an arrest warrant for €900,000 in bunker dues was issued to the unnamed Liberia-registered owner of the Atlantik. The vessel left port before the order could be executed, the Times reports.

In August 2014, the singledecker general cargo ship Madra (7,000 dwt, built 1996) was served with two arrest warrants for owing around €220,000 to two companies, including to Cassar Fuel. Again, the vessel was able to switch off its AIS, lift anchor and sail off unhindered.

After the Madra incident, a government inquiry published in August 2014 absolved Transport Malta, the Armed Forces of Malta and other agencies of all responsibility for the unauthorised departures. The report also made recommendations to avoid another “embarrassing incident”.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.


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