ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC)’s vessel MV Hyderabad, which was arrested at Port Elizabeth earlier this month, has been released after a guarantee of $14 million was provided by the Ministry of Finance, PNSC’s top official confirmed on Sunday.

The vessel was sailing to the port of Pedro and made a stop at a South African port for refuelling, where it was arrested on a court order issued in regards to a freight default case against the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).

The order was issued after a case was filed by a Singaporean shipping company against PSM over it failure to pay freight against the haulage of iron ore in 2008.

Read: Pakistani vessel arrested at South African port

The PSM had engaged the company in 2008 for the haulage of one million tonnes of iron ore from South Africa. PSM could not make the freight payments of $7.5 million.

The company had stopped the haulage of ore after making four out of six trips, as PSM failed to make the required payment.

The court ordered a payment of $7.5 million freight and also ordered PSM to pay $6.5 million in interest to the company, said PNSC’s official.

“After negotiations lasting several days, the finance ministry provided the guarantee of $14 million for releasing the ship MV Hyderabad,” said PNSC’s Executive Director Brig (r) Arshad Siddiqui.

The Ministry of Finance would move a summary to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for formal approval of the $14 million as guarantee.

After ECC’s approval, the money would be transfer to the Singaporean shipping company, officials added.

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