Solomons-Registered Ship Seized By Authorities In Vanuatu

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Operator arrested for failing to relinquish control of vessel

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Sept. 18, 2012) – A Solomon Islands registered vessel currently operating under the name MGY was arrested by the Supreme Court Registrar and Police after the Supreme Court in Vanuatu granted a arrest warrant of the vessel to lawyer Felix Laumae Kaubini last Friday afternoon in Port Vila.

Passengers and the crew of the yellow badge, MGY, were asked to leave the barge after the Supreme Court Registrar and the Police boarded the ship and served the master and crew of the vessel at Ifira wharf.

It has been confirmed through the lawyer that the vessel, registered in the Solomon Islands, is still registered under Solomon Islands registry under the name LC Borcos II.

Mr. Kaubini confirmed that the arrest is a result of a notice of termination of agreement between current operator Mr. Yves Melip and Island Corporation, a private company in the Solomon Islands.

He said he received instructions from local company agent and representative of Island Corporation in Vanuatu to apply for the warrant of arrest after Mr. Melip failed to hand over the vessel after the agreement was terminated in April this year. He said after numerous failed attempts to Mr. Melip to hand over the vessel to his client in Vanuatu since the termination of the contract, his client after 6 months requested an application to arrest the vessel on Friday.

Kaubini said according to his client’s records, Mr. Melip breached the agreement and has not upheld the provision of a lease fee that was payable to Island Corporation since 2010. He said the arrest is the first process of re-possession of the Solomon Island registered vessel. He said his client is seeking further assistance from the Courts on other matters related to the vessel.

"My client is also currently seeking the assistance of Vanuatu’s Ports and Harbour to de-register the vessel from the Vanuatu registry after records show that Mr. Melip illegally registered the vessel in Vanuatu without a bill of sale from Island Corporation to Mr. Melip and the vessel was at no time de-registered from the Solomon Islands Registry," Kaubini said.

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