M.P. Singh of the Indian Consulate in Dubai told the crew on Tuesday that the shipping company is bankrupt and the issue of payment of wages has been taken up with its local agents.

Four Malayali crew members of the owner-abandoned Liberian-flagged Aframax tanker Iron Monger 3, anchored at Khor Fakkan in the Gulf of Oman for over two years, have written to the Indian consulate in the United Arab Emirates expressing their willingness to ‘sign off’ on the condition that they are paid at least 50 per cent of their pending wages.

“There has been no wages since January, when we joined the vessel on a six-month contract. Nos Shipmanagement, the Singapore-based company that contracted us to work on this ship [owned by Taiwanese firm TMT, whose several vessels are detained in various ports] made several promises of wage payment. The latest deadline was June 30, which too was unmet. We faced a blackout in June without fuel for the stranded ship’s generator and food in the freezer went stale. Bunkering resumed following the Indian Consulate’s intervention but the sorry state of affairs relapsed three days ago. This was when we sent an SOS to the embassy,” Smigin Subrahmanian, native of Thiruvananthapuram and third engineer of Iron Monger 3, told The Hindu from aboard the vessel.

Smigin, along with three others — Sreejith S. Kumar from Kothamangalam; K. Ali from Lakshadweep who is settled in Kochi; and Xavier Joshy from Edakochi — have agreed to de-board if at least three months’ wages are paid.

M.P. Singh of the Indian Consulate in Dubai told the crew on Tuesday that the shipping company is bankrupt and the issue of payment of wages has been taken up with its local agents.

The stranded ship now has a crew of 11, including nine Indians, most of who joined the ship two months ago in a crew changeover. Subrahmanian, Smigin’s father, petitioned Union minister Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday, requesting his urgent intervention.

Though The Hindu made phone calls and sent e-mails to top officials of Nos Shipmangement in India and Singapore, there was no response.

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