From: Biniam Tekle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Mar 16 2009 - 08:44:21 EST
Lost cargo ship 'stolen by crew'
30/01/2001 08:45 - (SA)
Kuala Lumpur - A cargo ship that went missing off Ethiopia last September
has been found in Vietnam by maritime authorities who accuse its crew of
stealing the vessel, a news report said on Tuesday.
Vietnamese authorities have arrested the captain and crew of the MV Al
Hufoof I, after investigations showed they were linked to the theft of the
ship's wheat flour and sugar cargo.
The International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting centre, which is based
in Kuala Lumpur, had alerted maritime authorities after receiving a report
that the vessel had disappeared on 11 September, shortly after leaving
Sharjah en route to Eritrea.
Last month, investigators finally tracked the vessel to the southern Vietnam
metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, where its name had been changed to Hong
Heing, and found it was sailing under faked Honduran registration.
They also discovered that the crew members who sailed into Vietnam were the
same as those who left Sharjah.
Captain P Mukundan, who is with the piracy centre, urged shippers to conduct
background checks into crew members before employing them.
"It is also vital that port authorities verify documentation of vessels
which call on their ports," he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times
Mukundan said the centre has received ten reports of stolen or hijacked
vessels since 1998. - Sapa-DPA
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