The ordeal of several seafarers from Pakistan continues on the vessels owned by Saint James Shipping. More than 20 seafarers from Pakistan remain stranded on arrested vessels, while the MT Ariana ship is now off the radar.
Pakistani media covered the story of Pakistani seafarers toward the end of last month. They reported that almost 100 Pakistani crew members are now encountering a life-and-death crisis.
Sam Tariverdi is the son of Dr. Hassan Tari Verdi. He is the CEO as well as the owner of Saint James Shipping. Seafarers accused him of putting their lives and security at risk and making them suffer even for basic needs like food, bunker, water, and spares for the vessel.
Earlier, Saint James Shipping endangered vessels in war zones without any insurance cover. About 23 seafarers from Pakistan were stranded on a ship named Ariana in Al-Mokha (Yemen). At gunpoint, they were removed from the vessel with Naval Escort at the owners’ behest, and some local crew members were placed on the vessel. These crew members were reportedly repatriated in highly critical and risky conditions.
In a recent development, Ariana has gone missing. It cannot be seen on the maritime radar. The vessel was last observed on 23 August off Sharjah; after that, the vessel’s location could not be tracked.
The Pakistani seafarers who’ve reached Pakistan safely have appealed that it is high time for international maritime monitoring agencies to execute a formal search and rescue mission to ascertain the safety of the vessel and the crew members onboard.
They have raised a concern that in maritime affairs, typically, the owners resort to putting the vessel off the radars when they consider using the ship for illegal business purposes. Such activities include transporting sanctioned cargo, entering prohibited territories, or even evading some critical maritime regulations.
Sam Tariverdi, the CEO of Saint James Shipping, was asked to clarify the entire situation, but it yielded no results. Sam, Iranian by origin, is the passport holder of Grenada and has his residence in the UK as well. He had informed the seafarers that he would resolve their issues, but no progress had happened.
A group of Pakistani seamen who are extremely worried about their colleagues has reported that criminal indifferences and violations of Saint James Shipping and its owner/CEO Sam Tariverdi is unprecedented and persistent in the maritime sector.
Saint James Shipping owes millions of dollars to its managers, vendors, crew, and lenders. Ariana is operating without an operating license (DOC) and insurance coverage. The seamen added that the owner is jeopardizing the lives of innocent crew members by using the vessel in critical conditions without complying with International shipping regulations.
Safety of the vessels remains crucial as the owner does not release necessary funds for routine repairs and spares of the vessel, ship managers have informed. They have also said that it is unexpected that such transgressions were made for financial gains and vested interests, as done by Sam Trivedi.
They have said that it’s high time that renowned international maritime firms take note of Saint James' unlawful activities endanger seafarers’ lives. Besides the seafarers being repatriated in severe conditions; still, some Pakistani sailors are on the Saint James’ vessels.
The firm also owes a colossal amount to ship managers at GRSM, Entrust — a US-based financier, and vendors besides the unpaid wages of seafarers. It is, hence, warranted that Pakistani maritime authorities take note of the sufferings of seafarers of Pakistanis at the hands of Saint James Shipping and the CEO named Sam Tariverdi and officially approach international naval organizations to take legal action against offenders.
Reference: dailytimes, htsyndication