The former colonel of Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), Ahmed Ziyad, on Thursday denied allegations that he was linked to the tanker bearing a Maldivian flag that was spotted alongside a North Korean-flagged tanker in the East China Sea.
The issue of the two tankers first came to light after the Japanese foreign ministry reported that an aircraft of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force had spotted them around midnight on February 24, some 250km outside of the eastern shore of Shanghai. The Maldivian-flagged tanker ‘Xin Yuan 18’ was lying alongside North Korean-flagged tanker ‘Chon Ma San’, which was designated as a vessel of targeted sanction against North Korea by the US government.
Japan had said that the two vessels “could have been engaging in some type of activity.”
Following the reports, speculations began to circulate on social media that the Maldivian-flagged “Xin Yuan 18” belonged to Ziyad’s company, Green Box Pvt Ltd.
In response to Mihaaru’s inquiry regarding the rumours, Ziyad stated that the speculations were untrue and designed to slander his name.
He added that, currently, a vessel of his company closest to the area in question was docked at Malaysia.
The lawyers of Green Box are also preparing to file police cases over the falsifications being propagated regarding the company.
Meanwhile, the Transport Authority and defense ministry have declared that the Maldivian-flagged tanker was not registered to the archipelago. The ministry vowed aggressive actions against the vessel over illegally hoisting the Maldivian flag.