The Government of India on Friday filed a formal complaint with the Panambur police here with regard to the sunken ship Asian Forest.

The merchant vessel, carrying 36,000 tonnes of iron ore and more than 4 lakh litres of oil, sank off the Mangalore coast on July 18.

The complaint accuses the Master, the First Officer and the company owning the vessel of failing to discharge their responsibility to minimise oil pollution under Section 356 J of the Indian Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 in spite of the Directorate-General of Shipping serving notice and sending reminders to them.

The complaint accuses the Master of the ship and its Chief Officer of showing “lack of skill and prudence” in loading the cargo in conformity with international and national rules. The complaint was filed by M.P. John, Principal Officer-cum-Joint Director General (Tech), Mercantile Marine Department, Kochi, on behalf of the Ministry of Shipping. Mr. John filed the complaint after a preliminary investigation into the circumstances leading to the sinking of the vessel.

The accused mentioned in the FIR are: Master of the ship Captain Yin Sheng Yan and its Chief Officer Yang Gao Peng, who are staying in a hotel here, and the Hong Kong-based company Shining Ocean Ltd., which owns the vessel.

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