The winning bidder in the auction of 95-metre (312-foot) superyacht Indian Empress has been given a 15-day extension to the payment deadline originally set by the auction house.
The buyer, reportedly an Iranian national, applied in the Maltese court to extend the deadline to 20th July after the initial 5th July deadline elapsed. The delays are apparently due to “transaction issues”.
It’s unknown how the parties will proceed if this new deadline is not met.
Indian Empress was ordered for sale by the Civil Court (first hall) of Malta in May, on the application of Melita Power Diesel. Previous owner Vijay Vittal Mallya, a business magnate, former politician and Formula One boss, was arrested in London in October 2017 at the request of the Indian government, which requested his extradition to stand trial over an alleged debt of more than ₹90 billion (Indian rupees; approximately €1.13 billion).
Indian Empress was left abandoned after Mallya’s arrest, leaving the 40-plus-strong crew aboard the superyacht with months of unpaid wages totalling in excess of €860,000. Maritime workers union Nautilus International has confirmed it is hoping to use the funds raised from the sale of the vessel to pay these outstanding wages.
Nautilus has reportedly agreed to this new deadline, and strategic organiser Danny McGowan said that the union remains confident that this extension “remains the simplest and quickest way to put an end to the problems which Nautilus members have endured for so many months.”
“We hope,” McGowan added, “that the new buyer is working hard to resolve the payment issues in order for the affected Nautilus members to receive what they are owed as soon as possible. They have waited for long enough.”