Sri Lanka agent deleted vital e-mails: ship probe
Posted on June 7th, 2021

Courtesy Mailonline

The MV X-Press Pearl was carrying hundreds of tonnes of chemicals and plastics when it burned for almost two weeks just off Sri Lanka's coast

The MV X-Press Pearl was carrying hundreds of tonnes of chemicals and plastics when it burned for almost two weeks just off Sri Lanka’s coast

A Sri Lankan court hearing into the fire and sinking of a container ship off Colombo was told Monday that its local agent had deleted e-mails vital to the investigation.

The Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl reported an onboard acid leak to its representative Sea Consortium Lanka who in turn failed to alert local authorities, the state prosecutor said.

He said investigators found that Sea Consortium had wiped its e-mails with the Russian skipper Tyutkalo Vitaly.

“The magistrate ordered the local agent (of the ship) to provide the originals of the e-mails from mail servers located abroad,” a court official said.

Magistrate Chalani Perera also ordered the Sri Lankan navy to protect the wreckage lying submerged just outside the Colombo port.

Sri Lankan port authorities had said they were unaware that the vessel had been leaking nitric acid since May 11, nine days before the fire started in Sri Lankan waters.

Ports in Qatar and India had refused to offload a leaking acid container which had been loaded onboard in Jebel Ali, Dubai.

Sri Lanka’s navy recovered the ship’s black box over the weekend.

The Voyage Data Recorder, also known as a maritime “black box”, was found intact and is expected to help investigators review procedures and instructions ahead of the disaster.

Sri Lankan authorities hope the black box will provide details of the ship’s movements and its communications with the Colombo harbour, where it had been due to dock.

Sri Lankan police launched a criminal investigation, interviewing Vitaly and his Chief Engineer Sadilenko Oleg and Chief Officer Peter Anish, an Indian, and seizing their passports.

Authorities are bracing for a possible oil spill from the submerged wreck. However, there has been no sign of any leaks so far, they added.

Tonnes of microplastic granules from the ship swamped an 80-kilometre (50-mile) stretch of beach declared off-limits for residents. Fishing in the area has been banned.

Sri Lankan environmentalists on Friday sued the government and the ship’s operators for allegedly failing to prevent what they called the “worst marine disaster” in the country’s history.

One Response to “Sri Lanka agent deleted vital e-mails: ship probe”

  1. Noor Nizam Says:

    These government officials who are trustees of our SEAS and MARINE ENVIRONMENT must BE MADE TO take full responsibility for this great catastrophe. They are now trying to cover up the truth by deceiving the president. General Manager Dr. B.P. Terney Pradeep Kumara – General Manager of the Marine Enviornment Prevention Authority (MEPA), is bluffing the President and the Media with “SWEET BABY TALKS”.
    The failure of the HABOUR MASTER’S RESPONSIBILITIES HAS ALSO PROVEN BEYOND DOUBT AS THE MAIN REASON FOR THIS DISASTER.
    Together they both are “misguiding” the President who is adamant to know the “TRUTH”. Could it be the act of some politicians to help these government employees MAKE DECEPTIVE STATEMENTS to the media to cover themselves? Maybe with them the shipping agent is trying to cover it up or wipe it under the “carpet”. THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED AT THE COURT AS STATED ABOVE PROVES WHAT THE WRITER HAS BEEN STRESSING FROM THE BEGINING IN MANY OF THE COMMENTS MADE. The government must take strong decisions in this matter to save the country. The President should not allow these government officials to “DUPE’ the President and get out of their responsibilty/ “FAILURES” that has been proved beyond doubt. They are trying to escape by misleading the President which will finally discredit the President in the face of the NATION.
    A Presidential Commission can be an answer to prevent such a sitution.
    In this case the President must save our country, “MAATHRUBOOMIYA” from such a catastrophe in the future which can happen due to the possibility of “CORRUPT” officials working hand in hand with multinational corporations for the benefit of a few million dollars for their personal gain. PATRIOTS DO NOT FEAR CARRYING THE FLAG OF VICTORY OF THIS GOVERNMENT TO THE END AND WILL STAND UP AND CONTINUE TELLING THE TRUTH UNTILL IT IS HEARD.
    Noor Nizam – Peace and Political Activist, Political Communications Researcher, SLFP/SLPP Stalwart, Convener “The Muslim Voice” and Member “Viyathmaga”.

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