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APIA, Samoa (August 1, 2002 - Samoa Observer/PINA Nius Online)---Samoa Shipping Services Ltd. reported that 10 local sailors contracted to the German shipping company Ahrenkiel were sent home because of drinking problems.

However, a representative of the seamen earlier said they were sent home for raising questions about their pay, which involved one Samoan worker complaining to an international union.

[See: Sacked Samoan Sailors Cry Foul Over Termination By Germans]

"The men were caught drunk. That was it," said a senior official of Samoan Shipping Services, which acted as agent for the Samoans employed by the German company.

According to the official, their ship was delayed in Sydney for more than three hours waiting for the seamen to return from shore leave.

And when they finally turned up, they were tested, and found to have alcohol in their systems, he said.

Asked why Samoa Shipping Services refused to pay them the balance of their contract money, the official said investigations were not complete.

After the investigation, any money owed to the seamen will be paid to them, he said.

For additional reports from the Samoa Observer, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Samoa Observer.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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