By decree of the Civil Court (First Hall) of Malta on 14th May 2018, 95-metre (312-foot) motor yacht Indian Empress will be auctioned for sale at the Courts of Justice in Valletta on Monday 21st May at 12:00pm, on the application of Melita Power Diesel.
Vijay Mallya, owner of the Oceanco-built superyacht, was arrested in London on 3rd October 2017 at the request of the Indian government, which asked for his extradition to stand trial over an alleged debt of more than 90 billion rupees (1.3 billion U.S. dollars).
Consequently, Indian Empress has been left abandoned since September 2017, leaving the 40-person crew with months of unpaid wages totalling in excess of $1 million. Individuals are owed anything between $6,250 to more than $92,000.
Nautilus International, the maritime professionals’ union, represented some of the affected crew members and played a key role in having the vessel arrested. Nautilus utilised the provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) to secure a payment of $615,000 for the crew via Skuld, a Norwegian protection and indemnity insurance specialist, but some arrears remain.
Indian Empress has been held under a maritime lien since March while Nautilus pursued payment of outstanding wages and other costs over and above the amounts covered by the MLC financial security provisions. The lien has provided the crew with claim over the vessel to the value of the debt owed.
Due to the owner having ignored multiple requests to pay the debts, the yacht will now be auctioned by the Courts of Justice.
Registered in the Isle of Man, Indian Empress is estimated to be worth $93 million.