Former shipping executive ordered arrested over Stellar Daisy sinking

Image: Ryong Kim
Image: Ryong Kim – Stellar Daisy in 2013

A South Korean court has ordered the arrest of a former executive of a local shipping company whose vessel sank in the South Atlantic along with its entire crew of 24 in 2017.

Warrants were initially issued by the Korea Coast Guard for the arrest of five individuals, including the CEO of shipowner Polaris Shipping and an inspector from the Korean Register (KR) class society, over the sinking of the very large ore carrier (VLOC) Stellar Daisy. However, the judge presiding over the case approved only the warrant for the arrest of Polaris’ former head of maritime affairs.

The judge believed there was not yet sufficient evidence for him to order the arrests of the other four respondents in the case.

Whether the other four individuals will eventually be ordered arrested by the court will depend on the findings of an ongoing deep-sea survey mission to find the sunken ship’s wreckage. The mission, which is being conducted by US-based Ocean Infinity, is expected to be completed at the end of January.

Charges were originally filed by the Korea Coast Guard against the five individuals for making illegal modifications to the vessel, incorrect inspection by KR, and forgery of documents that attested to the thickness of the vessel’s steel plate conducted by thickness measurement technicians from a private company.

All those factors are said to have contributed to Stellar Daisy’s highly-publicised sinking on March 31, 2017.

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