|Abandonment ID:|| 00498|
|Ship name:||MT Aries1[disputed]|
|7-digit IMO no.:||8130576|
|Port of abandonment:||UAE|
|Abandonment date:||4 September 2019|
|Notification date:||18 December 2020|
|Reporting Member Govt. or Org.:||ITF (ISWAN)|
|No. of Seafarers:||10|
Unpaid wages since 4 Sept 2019, issues regarding food and fuel.
Crew had sent mail to Panama flag but have not received response.
Seafarers have contacted their Indian maritime administration, Embassy of India in UAE, union, flag state, immigration Dubai.
|Repatriation status:||Repatriation pending|
All crew are currently not on board. Chief Engineer and Master – 16 month, 2 crew for 15 month, 1 crew over 24 month, 3 crew for 12 month and 2 others for 19 month.
|Payment status:||Payment Pending|
|Comments and Observations:||Govt. of Panama (3 February 2021)|
From Panama Maritime Authority
In attention to the labor complaint filed against vessel “ARIES 1”, with IMO No. 8130576, please be advised that on January 2021, this Administation received a labour complaint against the above mentioned vessel, duly presented by Mr. Chirag Bahri – ISWAN, whereby he indicated that 9 crewmembers on board are in abandonment, and have not received any salary since they had joined the vessel.
In this sense, we have proceeded in accordance with the ordinary procedure, seeking to obtain a prompt clarification and solution of the situation denounced.
Please be informed that through Email dated January 08, 2021, the Maritime Mutual P&I Club indicated that “…MT Aries 1 is no longer entered with our principal Maritime Mutual.”
Among the most important communications made are the followings:
Email dated January 11, 2021, addressed to the Owner, Operator and/or Registered Agent of the vessel “ARIES 1” (1st communication), whereby is informed the labor complaint filed against the vessel, and seeking to obtain a prompt clarification and solution of the situation denounced.
Email dated January 11, 2021, addressed to Mr. Chirag Bahri – ISWAN, whereby we confirm safe receipt of the labour complaint presented, and was indicated that we have proceeded according the regular procedure by contacting the Registered Owner, Operator and/or Local Resident Agent, but until such date no response have been received.
Email dated January 13, 2021, reiterating the content of the Email dated January 11, 2021, addressed to the Owner, Operator and/or Registered Agent of the vessel “ARIES 1” (1st communication).
Email dated January 28, 2021, addressed to the Owner, Operator and/or Registered Agent of the vessel “ARIES 1” (2nd communication), whereby is informed the labor complaint filed against the vessel, and seeking to obtain a prompt clarification and solution of the situation denounced.
Email dated February 02, 2021, reiterating the content of the Email dated January 28, 2021, addressed to the Owner, Operator and/or Registered Agent of the vessel “ARIES 1” (2nd communication)
Nevertheless, no positive response was received from the owners and/or operators of the above mentioned vessel.
Additionally, please be informed that this Administration have imposed a documentary restriction over the vessel “ARIES 1”, which prevent the cancelation of the registry and the change of ownership in the registry, due to the abandonment of crewmembers.
Furthermore, this General Directorate have request an extraordinary inspection (ASI inspection) to verify the conditions on board, which is pending to be realize.
Finally, we wish to indicate that this General Directorate have granted prompt assistance upon the request of the crewmembers, and we are closely following this case to help our seafarers.
Non-governmental Organization (10 June 2021)
Crew have been repatriated and they have been paid 25% of their outstanding wages. No development regarding payment of pending wages.
Govt. of Panama (17 July 2021)
From Panama Maritime Authority
Last information recieved on May 19, 2021, two Indian crew is going to airport and the other remaining Indian crew will be repatriated next day. The Pakistani crew not yet get visa.
Non-governmental Organization (21 December 2021)
Crew have been repatriated and they have been paid 25% of their outstanding wages. Based on last communication with seafarers on 8th December 2021, no development regarding payment of pending wages.
Non-governmental Organization (20 April 2022)
Based on communication with seafarers 25th March 2022, no development regarding payment of remaining wages.
Non-governmental Organization (4 August 2022)
Based on communication with seafarers on 27th July 2022, there has been no development regarding payment of remaining wages. Seafarers have been suggested to communicate through email with Flag state.
Non-governmental Organization (18 October 2022)
Based on communication with seafarer dated 19th September 2022, crew have not been paid wages. Crew's email ID has been shared with Flag State requesting them to establish direct communication.
Govt. of Panama (17 January 2023)
Through Email dated September 14, 2022. the Local Lawyers have provide evidence of Salary Clearance Letters duly signed by seafarers of "ARIES I" indicating that ·'... our full and final salary on date 09 feb is cleared on Aries - I and there is no due's left on the company ... ".
We sent a communication on September 15, 2022, addressed to ISWAN, forwarding the evidence of payments received. in order to verify with the crewmembers this information?
Through Email dated September 19, 2022, !SWAN responded:
"... We have again approached the seafarers of Aries I,
They have shared that:
a. None of the crew has received their due wages
b. The crew signed the fellers, which were shared by you in previous mail, as they were forced by the owner I managers which then allowed them to sign off from the vessel.
c. The crew have approached various agencies in India such as maritime administration, Police etc but have not received any result so far, ... "
On September 22, 2022, we request to ISWAN, if they know if the seafarers presented any claim at a competent Court of Justice?
Through Email dated October 14. 2022. Local Lawyers have forward comments from Owners indicating the following:
" ... QUOTE ...........
It's just we need to inform you the information what you have is not correct because there were IO crew 011 board and any one ca111wt forcefully make crew sign off they all have gone willingly am/ have taken their salary in cash before crossing the immigration am/ if ii was I haven't paid they wouldn't cross the immigration and could have complained there as per Slwrjah law they would have taken action against us ifwe have done anything forcefully mr.willy from seafarer welfare officer was also in the loop because the crew fwd called him too and they have signed off 2020.... "
Through Email dated September 22, 2022, ISWAN responded:
"... I have checked with the crew, none of the have filed any case in any court against their dues, ... "
On October 19, 2022, we responded to ISWAN the following:
"... In this case, where the Owners presented evidence of payments duly signed by crewmembers on February 09, 2021, indicating that "our full and final salary on date 09 feb is cleared on ARIES I and there is no due left on the company", and where the seafarers recognized having signed a letter confirming the payment on board and now allegedly claim that they were forced to do so.
It is important to mention that the actions of the Panama Maritime Authority, in case of conflicts arising from the employment relationship (employment contract) are of an administrative nature only, so the courts of justice through a legally established process are responsible to enforce the norms of substantive law enshrined in the applicable labor legislation (in this case the flag law) against the request for recognition of rights of the plaintiff
We can understand that these situation can occur (i.e. seafarers forced to sign without having receiving their salary), however it draws our attention to the fact that is until now that the seafarers communicate this to us, and that they have not filed any case in any court against their dues.
Please note that all legal actions have a term of limitation, and in accordance with our regulations article 48 of the Executive Decree No. 86 of 20/3 establishes that all actions that do not have a special limitation term indicated in this Executive Decree shall expire after one(1) year.
Finally, the fact that the seafarers allegedly have a claim but have not filed it in a competent court, makes impossible to be resolved if the pertinent legal actions have not been taken to guarantee their rights. Thus, make it impossible for the labour complaint to be resolved, and consequently the update of the IMO/ILO Database
Govt. of Panama (18 January 2023)
Through Email dated October 19, 2022, ISWAN responded:
"... Thanks very much for below detailed email and we will inform the seafarers as well as update the ILO abandonment database,
After several follow up, IS WAN responded through Email dated November 01, 2022,the following:
" ... We have heard only from I seafarer, Mr. Ankush, he has mentioned that the case can be closed,
We shall inform the ILO as well to update the database, ... "