Shipowners pay for Cyprus call

The Greek owners of a Greek-flagged merchant vessel that delivered cargo to the Turkish-occupied port of Famagusta in northern Cyprus last week were yesterday fined a hefty 5.2 million euros for safety oversights detected on the ship. A Merchant Marine Ministry release said the shipping company, Aegean Cargo, was being fined for «irregularities and deficiencies» discovered by ministry inspectors after the Aegean Sun car transport arrived at Piraeus on Sunday. On Friday, the ministry ordered the ship’s Greek captain, Stathis Stylianos, to leave Famagusta and stripped him of his license. Yesterday, Stylianos was released pending trial for safety breaches and docking at Famagusta. Greece considers visits by ships of any nationality to Turkish-occupied Cyprus to be illegal and banned Greek vessels from doing so in 1980. «Greek ships that do not uphold our national interests cannot fly the Greek flag,» the ministry said. The Aegean Sun, which delivered second-hand cars from the UK to Famagusta last Thursday, is understood to have been chartered by a British firm.

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