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Crisis of Alco Shipping sailors getting solved

Owner promises payment of dues and sign-off after authorities intervene

06:57 July 2, 2017

Sharjah: The crisis that had hit four vessels belonging to a Sharjah-based company, Alco Shipping, is set to be resolved within two weeks, the owner has said.

Gulf News had first reported about the plight of sailors stranded aboard the vessel Sharjah Moon, MT Ocean Pride, MV Ocean Grace and MV ABS 1 on May 30.

The Indian crew members of these ships had sought the help of the Indian mission in Dubai through social worker Girish Pant.

Fed up with the false promises of payment of dues and sign-off, the crew of Sharjah Moon had also docked the vessel in to the Hamriyah Port without permission on May 9.

Syed Ijaz Hassan, the chairman of Alco Group of Companies told Gulf News that the company will pay the pending salaries to the sailors and issue them sign-off before July 15.

He said the company had lost over Dh100m in the past one year, resulting in a financial crisis.

“That was the reason I couldn’t make payments on time,” he claimed.

He said he had been responding to and cooperating with all the authorities including ministers from India, and Pakistan, the Federal Transport Authority in the UAE, and others.

He confirmed that one of his ships had been sold last week and promised that the money received from the sale would be used to settle the pending dues of the sailors which amount to Dh1.5m

The Consul-General of India in Dubai Vipul said the consulate had contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sharjah Port Authority and Sharjah Economic Department to seek their help in pushing the company to provide the sign-off for the sailors.

“We had also written to the flag country, Panama.”

He said the Sharjah Moon also faced a blackout without fuel. “We sent them fuel, water and food. In the case of Ocean Pride, we have been helping the sailors to recharge their phones since they refused to accept food and water from anyone other than their employer.”

Pant said the Federal Transport Authority had intervened in the case after it was reported in this paper. However, Gulf News could not immediately receive a comment from the authority.