The drama about the container giant Ever Given on the Suez Canal is getting worse.
Now the Egyptian authorities have taken the whole ship as bargaining chip.
Cairo - Egypt is now taking drastic measures in the dispute over claims for damages against the owner of the container ship Ever Given.
The container ship is not allowed to leave the country until the claims for damages have been clarified with the Japanese owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha, said the head of the Suez Canal Administration, Lieutenant General Osama Rabie.
"The ship is now officially confiscated," he said late Monday on Egyptian state television.
"You don't want to pay anything."
Ever Given: Egypt insists on damages worth millions
Egypt had demanded compensation of 916 million dollars because of the week-long blockade of the Suez Canal by the Ever Given and high salvage costs and arrested the container ship in the Great Bitter Lake between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
To justify this, the Suez Canal Authority referred to lost revenue from canal fees of between twelve and 15 million dollars a day.
In addition, there would be the costs for the six days of salvage work.
In the meantime, Egypt is said to have reduced its claim to $ 600 million.
Ever Given: Japanese owners are playing poker high
The Japanese ship owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha, on the other hand, only wants to pay $ 100 million so far.
However, economic pressure on Shoei is likely to increase.
In addition to the possible financing costs, the company is also likely to suffer from the lack of transport fees.
Then there is the pressure from customers.
According to earlier information, the Ever Given has goods valued at over two billion dollars on board.
According to the head of the canal authority, talks about a possible agreement are ongoing.
Just over a week ago, Rabie had further increased the pressure on the owners.
In an interview with the AP news agency, the general said it was more harmful for shipowners to take the case to court than to come to an agreement with canal management.
At the end of March, after a sensational course on a single-lane stretch of the canal, the roughly 400-meter-long giant container stood sideways and wedged between the banks.
As a result, one of the most important waterways in the world was blocked for days.
Rabie did not answer questions about the possible cause of the accident.
At the time of the accident on March 23, there was a sandstorm with strong crosswinds.
The results of the investigation are expected on Thursday, he said.
The mistake is "of course" with the owner.
The Canal Authority is not to blame.
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