HONG KONG, May 2 (Itar-Tass) —— All five Russian sailors from the motor ship Sakhalin, which was arrested and sold for debts of the shipowner, flied back to the homeland by an Aeroflot flight, a source in the Russian General Consulate in Hong Kong told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
Ukrainian crewmen with the captain will return to the homeland on Thursday.
“All problems with the immigration authorities are solved. Hong Kong has made no reciprocal claims,” the Russian diplomat noted.
“The salary debts to the crew will be paid in two months,” chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Union of Sailors Tim Kam-yuen told Itar-Tass on Wednesday. He confirmed that the ship was sold at the auction, but could not answer at what price it was sold. The estimated cost of the motor ship, which needs an overhaul, makes about 3.5 million dollars.
The Sakhalin motor ship, which did not belong to Russian shipowners and sailed under the flag of Belize loaded with rolled iron from the Chinese port Tianjin to Novorossiisk, was towed by a tugboat to Hong Kong over the malfunction of the engine. The ship was arrested for debts in Hong Kong under the lawsuit from its current Greek owner, which did not pay for the services of bunkering companies. The captain noted that the debts totalled 5.5 million dollars.
Hong Kong paid for the food, water and fuel supplies of the motor ship. The crew did not have health complaints.
The Sakhalin crew consisted of 21 sailors, including five Russian citizens, and the rest are Ukrainians. Many of them did not receive the salary for 6-7 months.