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Lawyers of Interlegal defended ASAP the foreign Shipowner’s rights due to illegal vessel detention in water area of the Nikolaev Commercial Sea Port

13.03.15

At the end of February 2015, during the customs clearance of the vessel under the Panamanian flag which arrived for loading at the Nikolaev Sea Port, 3 blister cards (30 pills) of a medicine containing narcotic substance were detected in one of the crew member’s cabin. Actual circumstances of detection did not show its belonging to any crew member. Both master of the vessel and crew facilitated access to all the vessel’s premises, objects and documents and passed voluntarily medical test which demonstrated the absence of drugs in the seamen’s blood. Despite the Shipowner’s obvious non-involvement in the detected crime, pretrial investigators of law enforcement bodies made two consecutive Orders on prohibition for the vessel to leave water area of the port, thus they abused their powers and violated the procedure of property arrest (i.e. foreign company’s vessel). Due to unlawful prohibition the Shipowner sustained essential material losses and cargo handling via the berth where the vessel located could have been stopped.

Applications filed by the Shipowner’s attorney-at-law to investigator and prosecutor on cancelling the limitations in use of the vessel were rejected, therefore the Shipowner’s attorney-at-law had to file to the investigative judge an appeal against illegal actions of law enforcement bodies. Under the results of appeal consideration, the investigative judge found illegal the investigators’ Orders on prohibition for the vessel to leave the port, and cancelled the orders.

Later lawyers of Interlegal, as the Shipowner’s representatives, submitted an appeal against groundless rejection of customs bodies to make customs control of the vessel (for leaving the port) due to performance of the investigator’s and prosecutor’s unlawful requirements.

On the 10th of March 2015 the vessel sailed from the Nikolaev Commercial Sea Port without any problems.

The Shipowner’s interests were represented by Sergey Kalitenko, the senior lawyer, attorney-at-law, and Sergey Sushko, the lawyer.