Prosecutors checking observance of crew rights after Russian ship Palladiy's detention in S. Korea
VLADIVOSTOK. Sept 4 (Interfax) - The Primorye transport prosecution service is checking the observance of rights of the crew of the tanker Palladiy detained in the South Korean port of Busan.
"The check began after reports on the non-payment of salaries to the Palladiy crew; the living conditions of those sailors and the sufficiency of food and water are also being verified," Primorye deputy transport prosecutor Dmitry Borodkin told Interfax.
The prosecutors are ready to appeal to court to the sailors' benefit, and statement templates have been provided to the crewmembers.
"Once the statements are filed, the prosecution service will appeal to a court so that the ship owner pays the salary debts and the sailors are repatriated. Every opportunity of bringing these people home is being considered," Borodkin said.
Palladiy crewmembers have not filed any statements as of yet.
The South Korean Coast Guard detained the Palladiy manned by 15 last week after the ship left the Busan port without authorization.
Several crewmembers resisted during their detention. The captain, the owner, the chief engineer, and the boatswain were put in a detention facility. The rest of the Palladiy crew was prohibited from disembarking.
The sailors told the Russian consul they had not been paid for their services in July and August and wanted to go home as soon as they could.
The repatriation of the Russian sailors is being discussed, Yevgeny Yevdokimov, the Vice-Consul of the Russian consulate general in Busan, told Interfax on August 29. He said Russian diplomats were staying in touch with the South Korean authorities to resolve the Palladiy situation.
The Busan port administration detained the Palladiy in June, citing overdue wages to the ship's crew. The company's five-month unpaid wages to eight crewmembers stood at 250,000 rubles. According to the Seafarers' Union, the ship's owner paid most of its wage arrears to the crew after the Russian Investigative Committee's Far East transport branch and the International Transport Workers' Federation's inspectorate were alerted of that situation.
Five crewmembers of the Palladiy undergoing maintenance in Busan asked the Far Eastern branch of the Seafarers' Union of Russia in August to help them come home.