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Business & Finance | Jun 25, 2004

Imminent Collapse of GAAS Fisheries

Ghanaian Chronicle

As court orders coy to pay ¢47m to ex-crewmen

GAAS FISHERIES, a fishing company established to manage the operations of a Russian Vessel, MV DIANA III, is heading towards its collapse following a total amount of over ¢47 million judgement entered against the company in defaulting in the payments of 10 months salary arrears due four Ghanaian former crew members employed by the fishing company.

The Tema Magistrate Court, presided over by Mrs. Georgina Mensah-Datsa, ordered GAAS Fisheries to pay the former crew members their 10 months salary arrears totaling ¢27,931,000 including interests at the prevailing bank rates from October last year to the date of final payment.

The court further awarded general damages of ¢8 million and a cost of ¢5 million against the fishing company.

The only fishing net used by the company in generating funds, is currently the primary target of the former crewmembers in the default of the total cost of ¢47,615,457 awarded by the district magistrate court, as it had ordered for the seizure of any movable property belonging to the company.

GAAS fisheries was further ordered to return the discharge books of the former crewmembers to them.

According to the judge, the former crewmembers, according to evidence laid before her, are entitled to the costs enumerated in her judgement.

The former crewmembers, which include Mr. Ernest Yanney, 2nd Officer in Command, Mr. Eric A. Dawson, 3rd Officer in Command, Mr. Kwesi Ankoh, Deck Boatswain and Mr. Samuel K. Ameyaw, Mechanical Engineer, were employed by the GAAS fisheries to work in the vessel MV DIANA II, when the former and latter were registered with the fisheries department to engage in deep sea fishing in Ghanaian waters.

The former crewmembers were sent on a fishing expedition with the vessel to Las Palmas, and on their return the vessel was seized following a legal tussle over ownership rights between two Russians and the GAAS fisheries, a case which is currently on-going at an Accra Fast Track Court.

The Ghanaian crewmembers were discharged after the arrest of the vessel, since the vessel no longer went fishing, leaving about 10 months salary arrears unpaid by the GAAS fisheries.

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