A Maltese captain has been detained in the Libyan port city of Misrata, due to a horse trade dispute between the businessman he was transporting and a Libyan company.
MaltaToday is informed that captain David Bonello was transporting 64 horses in two trucks, aboard the ‘Med Patron’ cargo ship, property of the Patron Group shipping company.
The horses were the property of an Italian-Hungarian horse transportation company, who was shipping the animals to Misrata aboard Bonello’s ship to sell to a Libyan company.
However, upon entering the port, an agent for the Libyan company realized that 19 of the horses had perished on the journey. Representatives of the company surrounded the cargo ship with other ships, as well as cars on the quay, and demanded €100,000 in compensation for the dead horses.
The Libyan company has detained Bonello and the crew in Misrata until the ship’s agent – Patron Group chief executive Paul Attard – pays up.
The Maltese police force were informed of this case by Ivan Riccardi, the Italian businessman who owned the horses and trucks. Patron Group ensured the police that the situation is under control, and that they were waiting for a Libyan intermediate to pay the Libyan agency the €100,000 demanded.
MaltaToday is informed that the case was handed over to police inspector Daryl Borg, who had contacted the International Relations Unit and Immigrations’ Branch within the police force, both of whom admitted that they could not help as they have no official contact with the Libyan authorities.
(Malta Today 26.3.2016)