Ship's Crew Victims of Piracy, Later Bankruptcy
Case of supertanker 'Samho Dream' that was first hijacked & later had to be sold off
Marshall Island-flagged tankship Samho Dream was carrying crude oil from Iraq to USA when it was hijacked by Somali pirates in April 2010. The crew of 24 (5 Korean and 19 Filipinos) were held hostage for 217 days until the vessel's owners, Korea's Samho Shipping, paid a US$ 9-million ransom to the pirates for release of the ship and crew.
A year after the hijacking, Samho Shipping ran into financial trouble, being unable to repay bank loans, and Hong Kong lawyers acting on behalf of the creditors had the ship arrested on its arrival in the port.
The HK High Court ordered the auction of the 319,000 dwt Samho Dream, built in 2002 and it fetched US$ 29-million, although the owners had paid no less than US$ 137-million when they bought the ship in 2008.
Meanwhile, crew-members had not been paid their wages for two months, but were given help by the HK Merchant Navy Officers' Guild and the local ITF office until finally earlier this year given the US$ 100,000 owing to them and repatriated.