01:15, Wednesday, 20.01.2021
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Four Georgian Sailors Urge for Help from Sokhumi

Four Georgian crew members of the Ship HAKKI EHILIOGLUS sailing under Panama Flag have been in Sokhumi port for one year already.

Interpresnews’ correspondent from Poti reported that Giorgi Sapanadze, Manuchar Bolkvadze, Aziz Varshanidze and Sulkhan Tsetskhladze worked on the ship of the Company STARLET SHIPPING based on six-month agreement since February 21, 2011. Their family members said Georgian sailors were taken to Abkhazian territory through violation of the law and cheating. The sailors have not received salaries yet.

“When the agreements were signed with them, the employer told them they had to enter Bulgarian Port. The sailors implemented technical duties and could not watch the direction of the ship. Finally, they turned up in Sokhumi. We have not contacted them since December because they had not source to get in touch with us. The family members relied only on the employer Laura Chaduneli who promised them the Turkish owner of the ship would withdraw the ship from Abkhazia by all means,” Giorgi Sapanadze’s wife Marina Sapanadze told Interpresnews.

Interpresnews called the employer Laura Chaduneli in Turkey who said the Counsel of Georgia in Turkey has interfered in the problem and the sailors will be withdrawn from the occupied territory within a week.

“The Consulate is studying the case; I cannot get in touch with the ship owner either. They have to employ Azerbaijan sailors and Georgian sailors will leave the ship. I recruited those people but nobody can predict where the ship will go. The sailors are on the ship to get money; otherwise they could have left the board long ago. Until they receive the money, they will not leave the ship. Otherwise, it is no problem to send them home,” Laura Chaduneli told Interpresnews, though the family members of the sailors do not trust her and said “one year has passed in similar promises.”

Marina Sapanadze said the sailors have neither fuel nor food nor medicines. They cannot leave the ship because the captain purposefully seized and lost their passports.
The family members of the sailors have already petitioned to corresponding institutions for help but have not received reply yet.


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