X-Press Pearl captain arrested

The Russian master of the fire-ravaged 2,700 teu X-Press Pearl was arrested yesterday and granted bail later in the day.

Sri Lanka is seeking $40m in damages from ship operator, X-Press Feeders, over last month’s fire which has created one of the worst ecological disasters in the country’s history with toxic substances washing up on the island’s west coast.

Vitaly Tyutkalo, the captain of the Singapore-registered ship, appeared in Colombo’s High Court yesterday.

“No formal charges were laid, but he was produced before court on suspicion that he has committed an offence under the Marine Pollution Prevention Act,” a police official said.

A next court case is scheduled for July 1.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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