TWO companies, including tanker owner Sagana Shipping, are being probed by the Philippines government over the continued detention of 23 Filipino seafarers onboard the Stolt Strength, five months after the vessel was hijacked by Somali pirates.
The move follows claims by seafarers’ families that Sagana Shipping and agent Sea Cap Shipping are not doing enough to secure the release of the ship and the crew.
The 2005-built, 33,209 dwt chemical tanker Stolt Strength, which was on long-term charter to Stolt Tankers, was hijacked on November 11 and is one of the longest-held ships pirates have hijacked.
“I asked administration chief Jennifer Manalili to inquire if Sea Cap Shipping and Sagana Shipping are doing everything to bring our Filipino seamen safely back home. Should such efforts be found insufficient to assure the safety of our overseas foreign workers, I want the licenses of these companies revoked,” he said.
Mr De Castro added : “Unless Sea Cap Shipping and Sagana Shipping have secured the safe release of the 23 crew members, their continued recruitment of seafarers will pose a danger to our countrymen who may be similarly exposed to such threat when their manning agencies are unable to provide ample protection.”
He also questioned why the Stolt Strength incident remained unresolved.