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Ship that ran aground was legally restricted from leaving Maldives: Civil Court

Lamya Abdulla
08 December 2023, MVT 17:40
(FILE) Justice Building where Civil Court is located: the court ruled that EPA made the correct verdict in banning MSV Maria Sinthyathirai from leaving the country until they had paid their fine -- Photo: Mihaaru
Lamya Abdulla
08 December 2023, MVT 17:40

The Civil Court ruled that the prohibition of the ship, which had been fined after it ran aground in the sandbank near Kudagiri reef near Kaafu atoll Thilafushi, was made correctly.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has imposed a fine of MVR 3 million on the owner of the MSV Maria Sinthyathirai ship for running aground in Kudagiri reef in January. Additionally, the ship has been barred from leaving the country.

The company's Maldivian agent filed a lawsuit in the Civil Court seeking to declare that the EPA's ban on the ship from leaving was illegal.

On Monday, the Civil Court ruled that foreign boats arriving in the Maldives were not allowed to leave the country on a normal basis unless they paid their dues to the state, and in this case, the fine had not been paid yet.

According to the ruling, the ship was fined under the EPA's authority, and it was not allowed to depart because the fine had not been paid. Therefore, the charge was not proven, the court said.

Ships have been fined previously after running aground as well.

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