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Some of ship’s crew who were not paid for six months fly home

PUBLISHED: 09:59 17 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:34 20 December 2017

Paul Keenan (International Transport Workers Federation) (left), with Ram Huvan Gupta (Oiler), Satthi Pandiyan (2nd Engineer) and Dipankar Jana (Cook). Photo: Maurice Gray

Paul Keenan (International Transport Workers Federation) (left), with Ram Huvan Gupta (Oiler), Satthi Pandiyan (2nd Engineer) and Dipankar Jana (Cook). Photo: Maurice Gray

Archant

Some of the foreign crew of a ship who were not paid for six months have been able fly home in time for Christmas.

Three of the crew of the Malayvia Twenty in Great Yarmouth have flown home. Photo: Maurice Gray Three of the crew of the Malayvia Twenty in Great Yarmouth have flown home. Photo: Maurice Gray

The Malaviya Twenty has been stuck in Great Yarmouth since June 2016 after it was detained by the authorities because of invalid documents and the failure to pay crew wages.

After a previous appeal, the original crew of the Indian offshore supply vessel were able to fly home to Mumbai in February.

On Saturday three of the stranded mariners were able to leave the ship in order fly home in time for Christmas.

It means the captain and three other crewmen remain on board,

Port chaplain Peter Paine has been helping the crews. Photo: Maurice Gray Port chaplain Peter Paine has been helping the crews. Photo: Maurice Gray

The marooned captain, Nikesh Rastogi, who has been living and working aboard the vessel since February, said that since July neither him nor his crew had received any wages.

However, they were finally paid last week but only up until the end of October.

The 43-year-old, said three of the crew, who arrived in September and are contracted until March, had not been paid at all.

He added: “There is no rational reason for us not to have been paid - we are all employees with contracts. The moment you begin giving reasons, you give an excuse.”

The crew will not be replaced as the UK Border Agency refused entry for a new crew.

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has been supported the crew in their battle to get paid since August.

Regional ITF inspector Paul Keenan said the three crew who flew home were under pressure from their families to leave.

He added that Great Yarmouth Port is also owed £80,000 in unpaid port duties. If the amount is not paid in 14 days then it will quadruple to £320,000.

The vessel is currently at the centre of a court dispute in India, between the ICICI Bank which owns the ship and a liquidator, over who receives the proceeds of a potential sale.

The same ordeal has been suffered by crews aboard a sister vessel, Malaviya Seven, based in Aberdeen.

Mr Keenan added: “I could not believe it when I got the call. It is a disgrace that both the liquidators and the bank have put the legal row ahead of the welfare of the crews.”

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