(QHA) - The Sea Amazon, a dry cargo ship carrying cars demanded by Libyan businessmen to free Ukrainians they have taken captive, has departed from the port of Illichivsk (Odesa region) for the port of Benghazi (Libya), the Segodnya newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing the wife of the ship's mechanic, Volodymyr Zhorin, Natalia, informs Interfax. At the same time, Odesa Regional Council deputy Oleksiy Albu told the newspaper that the ship should arrive at its destination port as early as Thursday and "after that the Libyans should immediately release our sailors." As reported earlier, on July 17, 2013, the Etel, a ship flying the flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis, whose crew consists of 19 Ukrainian citizens, was seized in the Libyan port of Benghazi by unidentified gunmen. Those who seized the vessel stated they were protecting the interests of 25 Libyan businessmen who were robbed by the owner of the Etel (the issue concerns nearly 600 cars worth about $9.5 million). The ship was allegedly to transport the cars from Jordan to Benghazi. But local businessmen claimed that the cars were unloaded in Ukraine, not at the point of destination. Later, media circulated reports that the Libyans had demanded the return of the cars or payment of their value as a condition for the release of the Ukrainian sailors. According to a report posted on the Web site of the Prosecutor General's Office, the criminal proceedings were launched under Part 1, Article 15 and Part 4, Article 190 of the Criminal Code into an attempt to carry out a fraudulent scheme to obtain cars worth more than $20 million, which the Faina vessel was shipping from Jordan to Libya, and which were unloaded at Illichivsk seaport on March 18, 2013.

QHA