Polaris Shipping CEO, Kim Wan-joong and four others are facing arrest warrants over the sinking of VLOC Stellar Daisy 22 months back.
In addition to Kim, the other four people are – Head of Maritime Affairs at Polaris Shipping, an Inspector of Korean Register of Shipping (KR), and two persons of a private inspection company responsible for inspecting the hull thickness of Stellar Daisy.
The charges pressed against the five people are illegal modification of vessel for Polaris Shipping, illegitimate inspection of KR, and forged document by the inspection company regarding thickness of the hull.
The 266,000-ton ore carrier carrying eight South Korean and 16 Filipino sailors went missing in waters near Uruguay on April 1, 2017. Only two Filipino crew members were rescued and the rest remain unaccounted for.
No cause for the sinking has been determined. The South Korean Coast Guard has been probing the case.
The police plan to press further charges, including negligent homicide, against the chairman after conducting a deep-sea search for the vessel. They plan to wrap up the investigation by the end of next month.
The Marshal Islands-flagged ship had departed Rio de Janeiro on March 26 and was sailing off Uruguay when it put out a distress call.
The ship operator and victims’ families later agreed on a settlement, the detailed terms of which were never disclosed to public.