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Rickmers calls for immediate release of Maersk Tigris seized by Iran

Rickmers calls for immediate release of Maersk Tigris seized by Iran
Rickmers Group has called for the immediate release of the Maersk Tigris, which has been detained in Iran over an apparent 10-year payment dispute with charterer Maersk Line.

The Maersk Tigris, which is owned by Rickmers, and managed by Rickmers Shipmanagement in Singapore and on charter to Maersk, was seized in dramatic fashion by the Iranian Navy on Tuesday, which fired on the vessel before escorting it into detention.

“As we believe our crew, the vessel and our company have no part in the current issue between Iran and Maersk Line we see no valid reason for the detention of the ship and would therefore like to do an urgent and strong appeal to the Iranian authorities for the immediate release of our seafarers and the vessel,” Rickmers said in a statement.

Earlier on Thursday Maersk said it believed the seizure of the vessel dated back to a dispute from 2005 over 10 containers it shipped to Dubai for an Iranian customer. The Iran Ports and Maritime Organization said the vessel had been seized over a commercial dispute with Pars Talaee Oil Production Company.

“We would like to stress that Maersk Line is not the owner of Maersk Tigris and has no involvement in the day-to-day-operation of the vessel,” Rickmers said.

 “Furthermore we would like to emphasize that we take our responsibilities as an international service provider to the shipping industry very seriously complying with all applicable laws and regulations as we have done on our scheduled commercial voyage from Jeddah to Jebel Ali.”

Rickmers said that a representative of its shipmanagement company had been able to board the vessel and “establish that all seafarers are safe and on board the vessel”.

“Given the current circumstances they are all in a good condition,” the company added.