Fifth Hanjin ship is seized for unpaid bills

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Fifth Hanjin ship is seized for unpaid bills

Another Hanjin Shipping ship was seized Thursday due to unpaid terminal fees, and part of its crew was stuck on board.

Hanjin China became the fifth ship to be seized, following Hanjin Rome, Hanjin Scarlet, Hanjin Xiamen and Hanjin Netherlands. While cargo on the ships were unloaded, sailors remain behind. A certain number of sailors, around six to twelve, must be onboard for ship maintenance.

A total of 95 sailors are aboard the seized Hanjin ships, according to the latest updates by Hanjin’s sailors’ union.

Hanjin Rome was the first ship to be seized in Singapore in August due to overdue charter fees. Hanjin Scarlet was seized in Canada’s Prince Rupert Port in September for unpaid terminal fees. These ships can be released if Hanjin pays its overdue bills.

The other two ships have been detained in Busan after the Changwon District Court in South Gyeongsang accepted requests from World Fuel Services to put ships up for auction following their failure to pay fuel bills. The fate of the two ships will be determined after a second trial early next year. On Friday, the court also approved Singamas Petroleum Trading’s request to put Hanjin Netherlands on auction for overdue fuel payments.

The government is providing supplies and food to the crews through the Ministry of Oceans & Fisheries. But the sailors are unhappy.

“The physical difficulties on the ship are beyond imagination, but even worse is the mental stress about the uncertain future that lies ahead,” said Moon Kwon-do, captain of the Hanjin Rome, who managed to return home through a rotation with another captain.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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