A Singapore-flagged tanker was seized by armed men in Cameroon on Friday, February 1, over an apparent dispute between the vessel’s owners and its charterer.
Owner Eastern Pacific Shipping said in a statement that Cameroonian charterer DSC Marine had detained the Aframax tanker Barents Sea and its crew with the help of local militiamen armed with assault rifles while the vessel was discharging its cargo at the Limbe oil refinery.
The statement adds that DSC Marine illegally detained the vessel to hold its owners to ransom.
Eastern Pacific has called on the Cameroonian government to intervene and ensure the immediate release of the vessel and its crew of 26 in accordance with international law.
A legal counsel of DSC Marine refuted Eastern Pacific’s claims, accusing the Singaporean shipowners of defamation via disinformation.
The counsel asserts that the ship was detained in accordance with international treaties but gave no specific reason for the seizure.
DSC Marine has urged Eastern Pacific to stop spreading what it calls “false information” while warning that legal action will be taken if it does not put and end to the disinformation.
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