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Fri May 10, 2019, 05:52 AM

U.S. Seizes North Korean Vessel and Sails it to American Samoa

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that the United States has seized the bulker Wise Honest, a North Korean vessel accused of sanctions-busting. She is now under way and nearing American Samoa, according to the Washington Post.

In April 2018, Indonesian authorities caught the Wise Honest carrying 25,000 tonnes of North Korean coal. She was allegedly preparing to conduct a ship-to-ship transfer off the coast of East Kalimantan, a method used to disguise the origin of sanctioned cargoes.

Indonesia's ministry of transport detained her for serious PSC deficiencies, and the state court of Balikpapan charged her captain with violations of Indonesian maritime laws. He was convicted of offenses related to improper documentation in November. Indonesia is now in the process of deporting the remaining members of her crew, according to NK News.

The cause for PSC detention was not described, but at the Wise Honest's last recorded port state control inspection in 2017, officials at the port of Nakhodka listed 28 separate deficiencies in almost every category. These included corrosion of her beams, frames and floors; multiple issues with watertightness, fire systems and SOLAS equipment; and shortcomings in her documentation and nautical charts.

Read more: https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/u-s-seizes-north-korean-vessel-and-sails-it-to-american-samoa

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