An association of insurance companies in western United Kingdom will issue a guarantee letter for the release of a Vietnamese cargo ship which is irrationally being kept hostage in Tanzania, said the ship's owner.
The insurance association recently has agreed to secure the release of the ship after Vietnam Insurance Co. (Bao Viet) sent a proposal to the organization, said the leaders of SEA Saigon Corp. – owner of the detained Can Gio Ship.
The leaders said the board had asked Bao Viet to help them with the release of their ship.
However, the Tanzanian authority has yet to confirm whether it will accept the guarantee letter and have said the final word on the issue will be issued after the Muslim sacred holiday, the month of Ramadan, is over Nov. 16.
If the Tanzanian authority agrees, the ship could be freed within three to five days after approval is issued, said the SEA Saigon leaders.
On July 27, 2004, a Tanzanian court ordered the seizure of the Can Gio Ship and its 12 crew members once it berthed at the African country’s Dar Es Salaam Port.
For more than three months, the ship and its members have been held by Tanzania’s Mohammed Enterprises, which had a five-year-old dispute with Thanh Hoa Co. based in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang.
By seizing the ship, which had no relation to the dispute, the Tanzanian company wanted to force Thanh Hoa to pay back money it said was owed to the company.
So far, the Tanzanian Supreme Court has conducted five trials to decide the case, but failed to find legal evidence for the seizure. It is due to hold another trial on Nov. 22.