After so much uncertainty relating to the purchase of the Galleons Passage, the Government has laid documents in the Parliament which show there was no broker involved in the purchase.
It was a straight case of NIDCO buying the vessel from Sealease Limited of Hong Kong.
Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert, laid the documents on the Galleon’s Passage acquisition on Friday.
Documents included the Memorandum of Agreement for the sale/purchase of the vessel executed on January 12, 2018 between Sealease Limited and Nidco, a Certificate of Registry from the Republic of Vanuatu for the vessel in the name of Nidco and associated documents, valuation reports by Oceanic Design & Survey and Shulte Marine Concept, a Lloyd’s register report and a 2016-2017 sea trial report. Government bought the vessel for US $17.4 million.
Imbert added, “There’s no reference to any broker in the sale and purchase agreement. The true facts are as follows:”
• Initial enquiries were sent to a number of international shipbrokers, ship managers, ship owners and ship builders. During this the vessel’s owner, Sealease Limited, became aware of the Government’s worldwide search, contacted Government directly informing that a newly constructed vessel that broadly met the requirements for the ferry service was in final stages of completion and available for purchase.
• The vessel was purchased directly from the seller—no broker was involved in the sale and purchase transaction. No broker fees were paid to anyone.
• The sale/purchase agreement between Sealease Limited and Nidco make it clear who the parties to the transaction are, who was paid for the vessel, and who owns it
• As part of documents received by Government for the vessel, a valuation of US$19 million was submitted by Oceanic Design and Survey. It was clearly stated in this valuation report this company is affiliated to Sea Transport Solutions, the vessel’s designer. As such, the Government engaged a highly reputable ship valuation firm—Schulte Marine Concept—who valued the vessel at US$35 million.
• Final sea trial for the vessel was done by the seller on October 30, 2017. Sea trials represent the last stage in the completion of a vessel and it’s thus impossible, as falsely alleged, that the vessel was sailing all over the South China Sea since 2016. The Certificate of Registry Synopsis Record from Vanuatu Sea Registry (February 8, 2018) states the “vessel remained in shipyard until transferred to current ownership and vessel name changed.”
Over the past months, there have been questions raised about the purchase and why it is taking so long for the boat to reach Trinidad.
Latest information is that the Galleons Passage should be in Trinidad on July 16, having sailed from Cuba.
THE GALLEONS PASSAGE