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Israeli-linked container ship crew in good health

A senior Iranian maritime official has said the entire crew members of an Israeli-linked container ship seized earlier this month by Iran’s naval forces near the Strait of Hormuz were safe and in full health.

The caretaker for maritime affairs at Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO), Ali Akbar Marzban, made the remarks while elaborating on the latest condition of the crew members of the Portuguese-flagged container ship, MSC Aries, which was seized by the Navy of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on April 13, the PMO’s official website reported on Tuesday.

Iranian authorities said the vessel, which was operated by London-based Zodiac Maritime, a company owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, had violated international maritime law and failed to respond to inquiries.

Marzban said that out of the 25 crew members from India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia and Estonia, a female crew member, who was an Indian deck cadet, had been transferred to her home country, while the remaining 24 were all safe and in good health.

“The entire crew members are freely on the ship and enjoy all the necessary rights,” he added, noting that they had Internet access and could keep in touch with their families via phone.

The PMO official underscored that the embassies concerned were briefed on the situation, adding that their ambassadors and representatives had met the crewmen and could do so in the future.

Marzban said the PMO had informed the shipowner’s representative and the government under whose flag the ship was operating that it was possible to send a portion of the crew members back to their home countries in compliance with maritime and shipping conventions.

Famagusta Gazette