(QHA) -

The ship Kanton, sailing under the flag of Tuvalu was arrested in the Kherson port, nine months after being moored in the port of Sevastopol, Crimea.

A Pechersky District Court ruling from March 24 allowed the application from the investigators to arrest Kanton and prohibit its use. 

Written notification has been served on the captain of the vessel, a Turkish national, that he is suspected of the crime under Article 332-1 § 2 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code (illegally entering Crimea) and the relevant request for international assistance has been sent to the competent authorities in Turkey. 

The charges under that article carry a sentence of 3-5 years imprisonment with confiscation of the vessel.

According to MP Georgy Lohvinsky, proceedings have been alreay initiated against 69 boats which illegally entered Crimea.  

As reported, Ukraine has every right to demand that ships which have illegally docked in Crimean ports are arrested in any port in the world, with this being in full accordance with the International Ship and Port Security Code.

Crimea seceded from Ukraine and joined Russia a year ago. The move was condemned as illegitimate by Kyiv and the international community. Kyiv declared the peninsula “occupied territory”, which means that all the international vessels banned from Crimean ports.