3 October 201712:46

Press release on the situation with the Russian crew members of the Sheriff arrested in Namibia

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The Foreign Ministry continues to monitor the situation with the Russian sailors who remain on board the fishing vessel Sheriff, which has been seized as security in the port of Walvis Bay, Namibia, until its owners, the Peruvian company J.Wiludi & Asociados consultores en pesca S.A.C, settle their debts.

Most of the crew has already left the ship. At the end of May, the Russian Embassy in Namibia agreed with the local government on the return of five Russian sailors who will be replaced by Namibian specialists. At the moment, the diplomats are negotiating a similar arrangement for the return of one more Russian who needs medical assistance (although there are no indications for his emergency evacuation from that country).

At the moment, seven Russians remain on the Sheriff, a minimum crew necessary for the ship’s maintenance. The Russian Embassy maintains constant contact with the authorities of Walvis Bay and the sailors, who are provided with the necessary food and medical assistance. In May and August, their Namibian working visas were extended to maintain the legal status of their stay in the country. They have the necessary consular assistance, including for drafting notarised and other documents.

From the moment of the arrest, the ship has been under the management of the Sheriff of Walvis Bay for further auctioning. The proceeds will be used, in particular, to pay the money owed to the crew. They expect to find a buyer soon, after which the remaining Russian citizens on board will be able to return home.

The Russian Embassy in Namibia is closely monitoring the situation.

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