Owners of vessel impounded in connection with fuel smuggling demand ship's release

S.L. Maria Navigation Ltd, a subsidiary of Falzon Group presented a judicial protest against various authorities over the MT Santa Maria vessel which was impounded in connection with allegations of smuggled fuel.

Lawyers Michael and Lucio Scriha on behalf of the company argued the vessel has been kept at Boiler Wharf since 2 July. Following an inquiry by Magistrate Edwina Grima, the Police Commissioner had requested the vessel to be impounded. However no charges or evidence have been raised against the owners.

According to the lawyers, Falzon Group has outstanding commitments which entail the use of MT Santa Maria. With the impounding of Santa Maria, the company is incurring serious financial losses, endangering the livelihood of over 100 employees. The lawyers held that the reputation of the company in the maritime sector is also at stake.

The judicial protest reads that the Commissioner of Police, the Harbour Master, the Court Registrar, the Comptroller of Customs, Transport Malta and the Attorney General will be kept responsible for all losses the company sustains following the impounding of its vessel.

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