The Triton


Crew awarded almost $1 million in back pay

Posted on by in

The crew of M/Y Indian Empress have been awarded almost $1 million in back pay after the yacht’s owner, Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, abandoned the yacht in Malta when he was arrested in the UK more than a year ago.

Nautilus International, a maritime professional’s trade organization based in London, had the yacht arrested in March while it worked to recover unpaid wages and other costs for the 40-member crew. According to Nautilus, the crew will receive a total of $905,000. Some of the Indian Empress’s senior crew had not left the vessel since it was abandoned in September 2017 and were reportedly owed up to $92,000 each in unpaid wages.

“We are glad that we were able to help our members in this way,” stated Danny McGowan, international organizer at Nautilus. “If the shipowner had a relationship with Nautilus, we are sure that we could have resolved the issue without resorting to arresting and selling the vessel.”

Mallya, whose business empire once included Kingfisher beer, was arrested in London in September 2017 over allegations he supported his Force India Formula One team with money-laundered cash. He denies the charges and has been fighting extradition to India, where he is wanted in connection with a $1.27 billion fraud.

Earlier this year, a Maltese court ordered the sale of the Indian Empress, a 312-foot (95m) Oceanco, in order to pay creditors, including the crew. The yacht, launched in 2000 as M/Y Al Mirqab and previously owned by the Qatari royal family, had an estimated value of just over €83.5 million. The vessel was sold to the Maltese-registered firm Sea Beauty Yachting Limited for €35 million in September. It was renamed Neom and listed for private charter at €744,000 a week, according to news reports.

A London court on Dec. 10 ruled that Mallya can be extradited from the UK to India, and that ruling has been passed to the Home Secretary for approval, according to the BBC. Mallya faces charges in India relating to financial irregularities at his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

IBI has reported that Mallya’s second yacht, the 164-foot (49.9m) Mangusta Force India, is under arrest in Southampton over disputes relating to crew wages and a claim from a Qatari-owned bank for €5.2 million. Charles Boyle, legal officer for Nautilus, reportedly indicated to IBI that a case involving payments in excess of £20,000 to three Force India crew members who are Nautilus members has been resolved.

Related Articles

Bridge closure on North Carolina ICW

Attention mariners heading south along the U.S. East Coast’s Intracoastal Waterway this fall, the Surf City swing bridge in North Carolina will be closed to Navigation from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday …

Millions in tariffs steer U.S.-built yachts out of Med charter season

Millions in tariffs steer U.S.-built yachts out of Med charter season

By Dorie Cox M/Y Laurel has had to cancel its summer charter season this year. Faced with a tax bill of at least $12 million to enter the 240-foot U.S.-built yacht into the Mediterranean, Capt. …

Yanmar offers free online maintenance service

Yanmar offers free online maintenance service

Japan-based diesel engine manufacturer Yanmar will offer its auxiliary diesel engine management service Shipsweb for free through March 31, 2021. Shipsweb is a technology platform to provide …

Wajer and Wajer Yachts introduces the Osprey 38

Holland-based Wajer & Wajer Yachts has introduced the Osprey 38 (11.3m), the largest such vessel to date. Vripack International Naval Architects and Volvo Penta Sweden worked together on the …

Engineer’s Angle: Choose correct coupling for the job

Engineer’s Angle: Choose correct coupling for the job

Engineer's Angle: by Rich Merhige Couplings are used to connect two rotating pieces of equipment together at their ends for transmitting power. There are two types of couplings: rigid or …

USSA continues mission of speaking for large yacht sector in US

USSA continues mission of speaking for large yacht sector in US

By Kitty McGowan The year was 2006, in the epicenter of the superyacht industry in the United States -- Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There was a lack of a unified voice in the U.S. for the unique …