A South Korean court granted the arrest warrant for the ex-head of maritime affairs at Polaris Shipping, on January 24. The South Korean shipping company which owned the ill-fated bulk carrier Stellar Daisy, that sank two years ago, costing the lives to 22 of the 24 crewmembers.
Earlier, the Busan Coast Guard had requested a warrant of arrest for the chairman of Polaris Shipping, as well as two other officials of Polaris Shipping on the ‘charge of violation of shipping safety law’, according to data provided by Yonhap news agency. A court hearing was set for January 24 to decide on his arrest.
However, the court dismissed the arrest warrants for the head of Polaris as well as an inspector from the Korean Register and two men who worked for a private survey firm.
The Marshal Islands-flagged very large ore carrier (VLOC) ‘Stellar Daisy’ went missing on 31st of March 2017 and is assumed to have sunk in the South Atlantic, off Uruguay, while carrying ore from Brazil to China.
There were eight South Korean and 16 Filipino sailors onboard at the time of the accident. One of the crew members sent a text message to the company informing that the ship was taking on water.
A total of 22 of the 24 crew onboard are believed to have perished in the accident, with only two Filipinos rescued.
Official investigation has determined no specific cause for the sinking. The South Korean Coast Guard has been probing the case.
The maritime police plans to press further charges, including negligent homicide, against the chairman after conducting a deep-sea search for the vessel. The investigation is to conclude by the end of February.
In May 2017, the company reached a compensation agreement with the families of the most missing crew members, without detailing financial terms.
According to Allianz, half of the 10 largest ships reported as total losses in 2017 were bulk carriers.