HAMBURG, 6 March. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea received information on 4 March 1998 from Counsel for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines that Guinea has released the oil tanker, the M/V "SAIGA", its captain and its crew. Today, it was confirmed that Guinea has done so in compliance with the Judgment of the Tribunal of 4 December 1997. The Judgment called for the release of the arrested vessel and its crew, upon the deposit of a bond of US$ 400,000 taking into consideration the value of the cargo, which was already with the Guinean authorities. The oil tanker and its crew are said to have left Conakry and to be safely berthed in the port of Dakar, Senegal. The two crew members, who were seriously injured by gunshot at the time of arrest, were earlier released.
The oil tanker M/V "SAIGA" flying the flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was arrested off the coast of West Africa by Guinea. Guinea claims that the M/V "SAIGA" was engaged in smuggling activities off its coast and thus arrested. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines accuses Guinea of piracy, claiming a pattern of such activities against foreign vessels. The vessel and its crew had been arrested and held by Guinea since 28 October 1997.