The cargo of explosives onboard the Tanzania-flagged cargo ship “Andromeda” that was seized by Greek authorities on January 8 off Crete island was legal, according to the manager of the owner company as cited by Greek news agency AMNA.
Mr. Theodoros Rellos also added that the crew should not have been held and led before a public prosecutor, while he expressed his readiness to provide further clarifications to the authorities on the issue.
The ‘Andromeda’ was seized by Hellenic Coast Guard, after it was found carrying 29 containers with explosives, detonators and other equipment in the sea area of the southern island of Crete, destined for Libya, despite the bills of lading indicated Djibouti as final destination for the containers. However, the European Union forbids the export to Libya of goods that could be used for internal repression, such as explosives and related equipment.
In view of this, the cargo was confiscated, the ship was taken to the port of Herakleio, and the eight crewmen, comprised of two Ukrainians, five Indians and one Albanian would be led before a Piraeus public prosecutor on Thursday.
When asked why the freighter had been sailing with 410 tons of explosives for the last two months, Mr. Rellos claimed that the ship had been chartered by two Turkish companies that defaulted on their obligation to pay. The two companies did not pay also the toll for the Suez Canal so that the ship could use this to go to its destination in Djibouti, he added.
Regarding the fact that the ship inspection revealed a total of 102 serious seaworthiness omissions, he said that the vessel was on its last trip before it was dismantled in Turkey.