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Maersk believes Iran ship seizure relates to 10-year old case

Maersk believes Iran ship seizure relates to 10-year old case
Maersk Line says the legal case that resulted in the seizure of Maersk Tigris by the Iranian navy dates is believed to date back to 2005.

Maersk said that based meetings with the Iran Port and Maritime Organization (IPMO) and media reports, “We must presume that the seizure of Maersk Tigris is related to a cargo case from 2005. We have however not received any written or formal confirmation that the seizure and the cargo case are connected.”

According to Maersk the case relates to 10 containers transported to Dubai for Iranian company in January 2005 that were not collected by the consignee within 90 days required by the UAE and then later disposed of by the UAE.

“The Iranian company subsequently accused Maersk Line of default before the Tehran Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office and claimed recovery of $4m as the value of the cargo. We challenged the suit successfully and in 2007 the case was dismissed,” Maersk said.

Maersk claims the company involved, named as Pars Talaee Oil Production Company by IPMO then sought have case heard in other district courts and then in civil courts in Tehran.

“On 18 February 2015, after 4 years of proceedings, the appeal court of Tehran ordered Maersk Line to pay the Iranian company USD 163,000. We have accepted the ruling and are willing to pay in accordance with same,” Maersk said.

It said that the Iranian company then appealed the case seeking the value of the cargo at current levels.

“Only today, 30 April, have we learnt that the appeal court has ruled Maersk Line to pay $3.6m. As we do not have the details of the ruling, we are not able to comment hereon, nor at this point speculate on our options.”

The company stressed the safety of its crew remained paramount. The Maersk Tigris is chartered from Rickmers who manage vessel from Singapore.