51 - 06/98 - Breaking Arrest and the Consequences - Eygpt

We have recently learnt that the Egyptian authorities are taking firm action to enforce the arrest of ships in Egypt and will use force, if necessary.  Several incidents have occurred lately.  In one of these incidents, well publicised in the maritime press, a Turkish ship broke arrest and sailed to Turkey taking with her several Egyptian officials who were on board seeking to make the arrest. 

The measures taken to prevent ships fleeing in similar manner include the deployment of naval vessels to act as a guard boats. Members should be aware that the Egyptian navy usually bill the ship under arrest for their time and effort. In a recent case the Egyptian Navy submitted a bill for approximately $1.72 million for 21 days guard duty. 

Should a ship attempt to break arrest,  the Egyptian authorities will send armed troops on board who will shoot to stop a ship fleeing.  We have heard of another incident in the past few days where a ship attempted to break arrest.  While we do not have complete details of the incident, we understand that armed marines boarded the vessel.  There was some shooting and a crew member was killed.

Though the consequences of having a ship arrested in Egypt can be expensive and may encourage an owner to contemplate breaking arrest, the consequences of doing so not only places the owner at risk of heavy financial penalties; it also places the lives of the crew at risk.

Source of Information:-  Trevor Elliston (E5)

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