PORT LOUIS, 23 January 2021 – A former judge has been appointed by Mauritius to lead an inquiry into last year’s violation of its territorial waters by a Japanese-owned vessel.
The MV Wakashio, as the Japense vessel was called, ran aground on a coral reef in July 2020, spilling the 4,000 tonnes of fuel it was carrying.
Former Judge Abdurraffeek Hamuth and his assessors, including maritime safety experts, environmental and social activists, will investigate the cause of the shipwreck.
The will also evaluate the extent of the damage caused to biodiversity on the coast of Mauritius.
Anecdotally, environmentalists have suggested that the shipwreck constitutes the worst ecological emergency off the coast of Mauritius.
The Indian captain of WV Wakashio, Captain Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar, and his assistant Hitihamillage Subodha Janendra Tilakaratna, were arrested after the vessel sunk.
There have been held in detention since and an application for bail by Captain Nandeshwar was denied last October.