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November 23, 2010

Indian warship fires warning shots ahead of Restis bulker

The Indian Navy today fired warning shots ahead of a Restis Group bulker, the 57,000 dwt Bahamas-flag Dynamic Striker.

The ship, managed by Restis's Enterprises Shipping and Trading, arrived in Mumbai October 28 and remained anchored there with a cargo of 34,752 tonnes of coal until yesterday, when it departed the port without unloading the coal and, according to Indian authorities, without fulfilling "the necessary formalities." It also, according to local reports, switched off its communications equipment.

This was not pleasing to the cargo consignee, Ispat Industries. However, the Ispat folks didn't just hop up and down on the quay shaking their fists as the ship disappeared over the horizon. They went to the police and filed a complaint of criminal breach of trust by the carrier against the ships' 22 crew members.

"The buyer company, Ispat Industries, paid $1.7 million in instalments for coal and the last payment was made yesterday," the Times of India quotes a police official as saying.

The complaint set in motion a joint Coast Guard and Navy intervention. According to reports, the ship stopped only after the INS Angre fired warning shots ahead of it. It was last reported headed back for Mumbai under escort.


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