Singapore: Maersk Tigris and its 24 crew continue to be held by Iranian authorities as the situation remains “unchanged”, according to Rickmers Shipmanagement.
Meanwhile, reports from Iran suggest the 5,400 teu ship could be sold if Maersk does not pay up over a 12-year-old court row with an Iranian private company.
Speaking to Splash this morning, Rickmers Shipmanagement spokesperson Cor Radings said that the vessel remains at Shahid Bahonar Port, and there is still no timeline for the release of the vessel. “Right now, it is impossible to determine,” he said.
Radling did say that the crew remain in good health and spirits given the circumstances and, perhaps in a sign of confidence, the company hasn’t made any additional plans for a representative to visit the vessel as occurred last Thursday.
Last week, Maersk Line said that the seizure is likely over a 12-year old case involving the delivery of 10 containers to Dubai.
Over the weekend the managing director of Pars Tala’eyeh Oil Products Company, the company involved in a court case with Maersk, warned that if the Danish line fails to pay up $10m in damages the Maersk Tigris might be sold to pay for the damages. The ship, however, is owned by Oaktree Capital and on charter to Maersk.
On Sunday, a Maersk Line representative met again with the Ports & Maritime Organization (PMO) in Iran, and the Danish ambassador to Iran met with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Today, the Danish ambassador met with the PMO.
“We have yet to receive any written notifications (court ruling, arrest order or similar) pertaining to the seizure of Maersk Tigris or the cargo case,” Maersk said in an emailed release today.
In the wake of the incident, the US Navy has started accompanying American-flagged vessels through the Strait of Hormuz. Iran’s Navy Commander, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, told local media the move was unnecessary, commenting: “Security fully prevails in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman due to the permanent presence of Iran’s navy and the naval forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.” He also recommended that the US Navy escorts American ships sailing in the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab Strait because of “insecure conditions” there.
With additional reporting by Hans Thaulow and Sam Chambers.