A Tunisian judge has arrested seven crew members on a cargo ship that sank off the coast of Gabes in the south of the country this month, the justice minister said on Wednesday as authorities investigated whether the ship could have been intentionally sunk.
Tunisian officials said this month that the ship, Xelo, sank en route from Equatorial Guinea to Malta with up to 1,000 tonnes of oil and that the Tunisian navy had rescued all seven crew members.
Officials later said that a special diving team sent to deal with possible environmental accidents found that the ship’s cargo did not contain fuel, but was empty.
“The investigating judge has issued a ruling on the detention of the ship’s crew,” said Mohamed Karay, a spokesman for the Gabes court.
Karay had previously said that they were investigating whether the ship sank under normal circumstances or had been sunk to obtain compensation from insurance companies and to investigate the possibility of oil smuggling.
The ship’s crew consisted of four Turks, two from Azerbaijan and one from Georgia.
The crew claimed that the ship’s route data had been lost and that there was a disagreement in the information they provided, Karay said.
Reuters could not immediately contact the crew, the shipowner or their representative.
Tunisia arrests the crew of a ship that sank off its shores this month – SABC News
Source link Tunisia arrests the crew of a ship that sank off its shores this month – SABC News