31 Jan 2013

Phocea owner alleges seizure a Vanuatu money-making ploy

4:23 pm on 31 January 2013

The Vanuatu diplomatic passport holder Pascal Ahn Quan Saken says Vanuatu officials are detaining the super yacht he claims to own in order to make money.

The Phocea has been detained in Port Vila since July due to problems with its documentation, despite government orders for its release.

Johnny Blades reports

"Pascal Ahn Quan Saken has not returned to Vanuatu since leaving last July before he could be questioned in relation to the 75 metre yacht. It was raided and seized by police, immigration and customs officers on suspicion of passport fraud and drugs trading. All criminal matters relating to the Phocea have been dropped but the Ports Authority says the vessel is unable to leave the country after it was confirmed that it does not have Maltese registration. Mr Saken says his boat is being confiscated so that officials can charge high berthing fees. He also accuses Vanuatu police of piracy when raiding the Phocea, including wearing shoes on the yacht's Persian rug interior."