Istanbul owner DSM Gemi Isletmeciligi faces an especially large phone bill this month with one of its tankers accused of plunging a whole nation into a communication blackout.
The Tongan government is looking to get the company to pay up after its vessel, Duzgit Venture, dragged anchor, allegedly severing the island nation’s fibre optic cable, knocking out the kingdom’s entire mobile and internet services for more than a fortnight from January 20 this year.
The Duzgit Venture regularly brings essential fuel and gas to the Pacific.
The communication outage from the chopped cable cost Tonga more than $2m, the government has estimated. Local authorities are still investigating the accident, but the Duzgit Venture is understood to be the main focus of the investigation.