Posted on February 04, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Singapore-flagged Aframax-class crude oil tanker, BARENTS SEA, was seized by a private militia in Cameroon.
According to the Singapore-based ship management company, Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), who manages the vessel, the incident took place at the Sonara refinery in Limbe, on Sunday the 3rd of February.
Due to an alleged commercial dispute, the vessel was seized by militiamen armed with AK-47 submachine guns, working on behalf of DSC Cameroon, a local charterer operating out of Cameroon.
26 crew members are aboard the vessel, including Chinese, Indian, Pilipino, Turkish and Ukrainian nationals.
EPS suggests that the charterer’s actions are in full violation of international law and constitute an act of unprovoked aggression.
“Eastern Pacific Shipping confirms that while performing standard discharge operations, its managed Aframax M/T Barents Sea has been illegally seized by DSC Marine, a local charterer, and local Cameroonian military forces armed with AK-47 submachine guns in the Sonara refinery in Limbe, Cameroon.
"Eastern Pacific Shipping condemns this act of unprovoked aggression and strongly urges the Cameroonian government to enforce its security forces to safely and immediately release the vessel and the 26 crew on board in accordance with international law. The safe release of our crew, which includes nationals from India, Ukraine, China, Philippines and Turkey is our main priority,” EPS said in a statement.
Reportedly, the Barents Sea has been anchored off the coast of Cameroon for the better part of two months, due to the aforementioned financial dispute.
The crew of the vessel are considered to be unharmed.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic