MOSCOW, January 10./ITAR-TASS/. Vadim Mantorov, the captain of Russia’s Oleg Naidenov fishing trawler, which has been kept under arrest in Dakar since Sunday, said on Friday the Senegalese authorities had tried to make him sign a fake document with wrong coordinates of his ship at the moment of arrest.
“Navigators from a Senegalese coastal guard ship came here on January 7 and demanded we should sign a document, which fixed wrong coordinates of the Oleg Naidenov at the moment of arrest,” he told journalists over the phone. “According to those fake coordinates, our ship allegedly crossed into the Senegalese waters by one nautical mile.”
The Senegalese authorities claimed those coordinated had been recorded in the ship’s radar station, he said. “But it is practically impossible to trace a ship at a big distance using such radars. Such claims are beyond criticism. I pointed a place on the map, where our ship had been - 35 miles to the south of the Senegalese waters,” he noted.
Mantorov also said that the crew had stopped to share their meals with the Senegalese officers who were keeping the crew under arrest.
He stressed that the Senegalese authorities had not yet brought any official charges to the Oleg Naidenov crew.
“The situation is clam. Nothing has changed - we are still not allowed to go ashore. There have been no visits by representatives of the Senegalese authorities,” he added.
The Oleg Naidenov suspected of illegal fishing within Senegalese waters was seized by the Senegalese military 46 miles of Guinea-Bissau on January 4 with 82 crew onboard, including 62 Russians and 20 citizens of Guinea-Bissau, and convoyed to the port of Dakar on January 5. During the seizure several sailors were injured.
The Oleg Naidenov is owned by private company Fenix, registered in Murmansk, the extreme northwest part of Russia. It is a big fishing boat of Moonzund type, 120 meters long, built in Germany in 1989.
The crew remains on board the vessel under control of the Senegalese law enforcers. Sailors’ passports were confiscated soon after the arrest and the crew was not allowed to leave the trawler.