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Hong Kong ship "arrested" in New Zealand over Middle East commercial dispute

01-11-2012 14:32 BJT

WELLINGTON, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- A Hong Kong-owned cargo ship has been detained in New Zealand's eastern North Island port of Napier after becoming embroiled in a dispute between two Middle East companies, the Dominion-Post newspaper reported Wednesday.

The 16,860-tonne Sheng Mu was boarded and "arrested" by a bailiff on Dec. 5 under an order from the High Court at Auckland.

Operated by Hong Kong-based Fenwick Shipping Services, the vessel arrived in Napier on Jan. 2 and discharged fertilizer.

It was due to leave for the port of Tauranga Tuesday, said the report.

Fenwick's Australian director, Chris Rabbidge, told the newspaper his company was "an innocent party in a dispute between a couple of Middle Eastern companies who moved cargo on this ship a while ago."

Rabbidge said the arrest was "entirely unwarranted and, we contend, illegal".

"It is part of a dispute between Tradelines LLC, Dubai, (which is) part of the Saif Al Ghurair Group, and Golden Waves FZC, of the United Arab Emirates," he was quoted as saying.

"Fenwick Shipping of Hong Kong, as manager of the Sheng Mu, urges both parties to settle their dispute without involving an innocent third party and for Tradelines to honor their commitments to the owners."

Auckland High Court registrar John Mortimer told the newspaper the arrest was made under the Admiralty Act 1973, which put the ship under his control until the matter had been resolved between the parties.

It was unlikely he would approve the ship leaving the port before the matter was resolved.

Port of Napier chief operating officer Chris Bain told Radio New Zealand the crew were not allowed to leave the vessel.


Editor:Bai Yang |Source: Xinhua

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