by Hans | December 1st, 2009
Barracuda-I, the tug that towed the dead US liner Platinum-II from Dubai to its final destination at the Alang Ship Breaking Yard, had entered Indian waters on fake registry documents, it is learnt. The office of Kiribati Shipping Registry said this in a letter to the Indian Platform on Shipbreaking (IPOS), an NGO working for the safety and security of environment and workers.Liau Siew Leng, Operation Manager at Kiribati Shipping Registry, Singapore, told Gopal Kirshna of IPOS in an email, “Barracuda-I has not been registered with the Kiribati Shipping Registry.” Krishna added, “Not only Platinum-II, even the tug entered Indian waters illegally.”
On November 9, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had denied beaching permission to Platinum-II on two points. The first was that the US vessel contained hazardous materials like asbestos and PCB; and secondly, it had produced fake documents of the Kiribati Shipping Registry to keep the US, which had banned the exports of asbestos and PCB-laden vessels for breaking. and India that does not allow it, in dark.
But now, it appears that both the 1,000 passenger capacity nine-decked liner and the tug had produced fake documents for clearance at Alang. The Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) and the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) submitted an inspection report and other documents to the Central Technical Team constituted by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests that inspected Platinum-II in October. The ship was named SS Oceanic, before it was changed to SS Independence and lastly to Platinum-II. The master of Barracuda-I is Captain Arun Kumar Das, an Indian citizen. It has been claimed that the tug was registered with the Kiribati Shipping Registry.Source : Indian Express