Maldivian ship’s captain threatened with drowning over unpaid salaries: crew member

Indian crew members aboard a Maldivian cargo vessel docked in Dubai have threatened to drown the ship’s captain over unpaid salaries, fellow workers have alleged in local media.

Six of the Maldivian crew aboard the Waadhee Progress vessel, currently docked at a harbour in Dubai, claim to have been continuously threatened by Indian crew members for the past three months.

A crew member told the Sun Online news agency yesterday (January 4) that the foreign nationals working on the ship were unhappy with the situation as they had not been paid for an entire year.

The crew member further alleged that the foreign crew had threatened to drown the ship’s captain if the alleged issue of outstanding salaries were not paid by the end of today (January 5).

Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News that authorities were looking into the matter, but had received little information on the vessel’s situation at present.

A crew member working aboard the Waadhee Progress has told local media that due to the vessel’s current location, it was hard to clarify the exact situation on-board.

He further alleged that an assault between the foreign crew on a previous occasion had left a fellow employee with stab wounds.

“We also haven’t received our salaries for as long as [the foreign crew]. They are threatening us. They carry knives and iron bars. The last thing they said was that the captain will be drowned if the salaries are not paid by the end of tomorrow,” the Maldivian crew member claimed.

“We are scared, haven’t even been sleeping. The company has said that they have contacted the coast guard and the police and they are looking into it. But we are still in the same situation. We have, sort of, been hijacked.”

Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Spokesperson Colonel Abdul Raheem said that the country’s coastguard had received no information regarding the incident at present.

“This matter will probably be taken up by the respective foreign ministries in Dubai and Maldives. I should imagine the Transport Ministry will also be looking into the matter,” Raheem told Minivan News.

The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) was not responding to calls from Minivan News at the time of press.

State Transport Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said that he was still involved in “airport matters” when contacted today, and was unable to comment on the issue, forwarding Minivan News to other sources in the ministry.

Meanwhile, an official from Waadhee Shipping and Trading – the company who own Waadhee Progress – told local media that the company had been informed of the situation and were looking into it.

Minivan News was awaiting a response from the company at time of press.