Arrested Superyacht Indian Empress Sold At Debtors Auction for €43.5 Million: The long-running dispute is finally over and the crew can now expect their back wages. The 95-metre superyacht Indian Empress has has been sold for €43.5 million in a court-ordered auction in Valletta, Malta. Auctioned under the authority of Mr. Justice Mark Chetcuti, bidding reportedly started at €25 million.
Indian entrepreneur Vijay Mallya, whose empire includes Kingfisher Beer, abandoned the superyacht in September 2017. Mallya agreed to the auction in May in Malta, where the vessel has been held under arrest since February for unpaid crew wages. More than 40 crew have allegedly not been paid since September, with back wages ranging from 46,250 to $92,000 each. The total amount of unpaid wages reportedly exceeds more than $1 million.
The yacht was impounded on behalf of 13 creditors who reportedly are owned around €2 million. Marine Traffic indicates that the yacht remains in Malta.
Nautilus International, a maritime workers union, welcomes the court-ordered sale and stated it wants to ensure that the auction proceeds will be promptly used to pay the crew’s back wages. Autilus has already secured payment of four months’ unpaid wages totaling more than $615,000.
Nautilus strateic organizer Daanny McGowan characterized the sale as a significant milestone in the long-running story. The group is working with lawyers to ensure tha all crew receive outstanding wages as soon as possible. Sale proceeds must be deposited in court within seven days of June 28, the sale date. The court will then arrange for the creditors, including Nautilus members to be paid the sum owed.
Launched by Oceanso in 2000, Indian Empress had a major refit in 2016.Mallya purchased her in 2006. She offers accommodation for as many 12 guests and 30 crewmembers in a 3,176GT interior.
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