Ship detained by MCA amid RMT crew 'slavery' claims


An offshore supply ship has been detained at a UK port by Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) officers for an alleged failure to pay seafarers' wages.

The Mumbai-registered MV Malaviya Seven was detained in Aberdeen on Wednesday amid claims by the RMT union that 15 Indian crew members have not been paid for nearly two months, with some having been without pay for longer.

The union claimed the incident was an example of "modern-day slavery" in the North Sea.

An MCA spokeswoman said the ship will be detained until the wages are paid.

She said: "The vessel has been detained ... for non-payment of seafarers' wages and for not fully complying with the requirements for seafarers' employment agreements.

"The detention will remain in place until the seafarers' wages are paid and other identified deficiencies are rectified.

"A second vessel from the same company is being inspected by the MCA in Great Yarmouth for similar reasons."

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "The seizure of this vessel exposes the scandal of modern-day slavery on our ships right at the heart of the UK's oil capital, Aberdeen.

"It also exposes the shameful practices in the exploitation of our natural resources, practices that must be outlawed and regulated against immediately.

"These ships of shame are a blatant abuse of migrant workers and are contrary to any number of stated industry and government objectives around human rights and maximising economic recovery from our resources.

"Additionally, it is a catalyst for the dumping of UK seafarers, many thousands of whom are now drawing benefit from the state."

BP confirmed it had chartered the vessel from June 1 until Wednesday. 

Premier Oil declined to comment on RMT claims it had also chartered the vessel recently.

A spokesman for Dana Petroleum said the firm had chartered the ship "on the spot market earlier in the year".