‘Dredger seized off Bataan not Chinese ship’

Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - February 4, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Chinese embassy denied reports yesterday that the dredging ship MV Zhonhai 68 seized for operating in the waters off Bataan is a Chinese-owned or registered vessel.

“Initial investigation on the identity of MV Zhonhai 68 by relevant Chinese authorities has shown that the ship is not registered in China and not a Chinese ship. It is also noted that there was no Chinese national on the dredging ship when it was found,” the embassy said in a statement.

Citing information from the International Maritime Organization, the embassy said the ship with an IMO number of 8692665 is under the flag of Sierra Leone.

“The embassy hopes that any responsible remarks and reports should be based on facts rather than speculation and misinformation,” the embassy said.

It said it would assist Philippine authorities on its investigation “should there is such a need.”

The Philippine Coast Guard seized MV Zhonhai 68 after it was found conducting dredging activities without authorization and other legal documents.                       

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