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Thome denies allegations of non-payment of VLCC crew

Tuesday, 07 February 2012 | 00:00
Thome Ship Management, as managers of the VLCC ‘Samho Dream’ vessel, has strongly denied allegations that it had not paid crew members before the arrested vessel was handed over to new owners.
The Singapore based shipmanager rejected a misleading and inaccurate report on a Chinese website, which alleged the ‘Samho Dream’s’ crew had not been paid and that the managers were attempting to remove them from the vessel prior to the handover in Hong Kong in January 2012.
Thome Ship Management said in a statement to Tanker Operator:
“The allegation that the ‘Samho Dream’ crew had not been paid while the ship was under arrest is totally false. It is an allegation that is unfair and unfounded and we can prove it is not true.”
Thome said the circumstances of the case were as follows:
1) The vessel was abandoned by her previous crew off Dubai anchorage in 2011 and was detained by the Dubai port authorities.
Thome Ship Management was engaged by representatives of the mortgagee banks of the vessel in late June last year to re-activate the vessel and bring the vessel in ballast to Hong Kong where she arrived in October last year.
Subsequently, the vessel was arrested by the Hong Kong High Court at the behest of the mortgagee banks. The vessel remained at South Lamma anchorage in Hong Hong thereafter till the sale and hand over to new owners.
2) The officers and crew remained on board together with a representative of the Hong Kong High Court. Their salaries were paid on a regular basis. At the time of the vessel's sale in mid-January this year their only outstanding wages were for the month of January itself. They were repeatedly assured that they would receive their wages.
3) The vessel was handed over to the new owners on the 30th January this year. The wages of the officers and crew for January including applicable severance pay were remitted to their bank accounts the same day.
The balance of wages including leave wages was remitted to their respective accounts on the 31st January. After 31st January, there were no outstanding wages due to the officers and crew of the ‘Samho Dream’.
4) The ITF Hong Kong representative- Ting Kam Yuen to ensure the crew wages, including the applicable compensation, was fully informed that the crew wages would be paid in full prior to their departure
5) The new owner's legal representative was fully involved to ensure safe disembarkation of all ship crew and their rightful claims were guaranteed.
6) A Thome Group technical superintendent flew from Singapore to the ship to ensure the process was carried out in proper order.
7) All repatriation arrangements and flight were booked by Thome to ensure the crew’s safe return
8) Thome has followed up with the ship’s crew and they have confirmed their safe return and receipt of their wages.
Source: Tanker Operator
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