Payment for crew of abandoned superyacht

Indian Empress The 'Indian Empress' is being held in Malta after the UK arrest of its Indian national owner Vijay Mallya

Union Nautilus International has secured a payment for crew owed more than US$1m after the superyacht they were working on was abandoned following the arrest of its multi-millionaire owner.

The Isle of Man-flagged 95m long vessel Indian Empress is being held in Malta after the UK arrest of Indian national owner Vijay Mallya on financial charges. Nautilus used the Maritime Labour Convention to secure payment of four months’ unpaid wages, totalling more than $615,000.

“Our members onboard gave their employer and the shipowner multiple opportunities to pay monthly wages, displaying a loyalty and restraint greater than many would show in such situations,” explained strategic organiser Danny McGowan. “These opportunities were regularly ignored by the owner, leaving us with no option but to take the case to the courts.”

Nautilus is now attempting to recover US$330,000 in unpaid wages and other costs. In all, there are more than 40 crew on the yacht and individuals are owed anything between US$6,250 to more than US$92,000.

Mr Mallya, whose business empire includes Kingfisher beer and the Force India Formula One team, is currently fighting money laundering allegations and extradition to India to stand trial over an alleged debt of more than 90bn rupees (£1bn).

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