Casino ship auction nets $65,156 towards debts – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Casino ship auction nets $65,156 towards debts

The casino ship

Niobe Corinthian has been auctioned off to a trust, making $65,156 towards its debts, but creditors are still awaiting money owed to them.

Last year, Chief Justice Richard Ground ruled the vessel must be sold to pay three crew members owed more than $40,000 by the ship’s owners.

Captain Pablo Riera Sr, his son Pablo Riera Jr and crewman Juan Aleman are owed back wages of $27,451, $6,416 and $6,416 respectively, to be paid from the proceeds of the auction.

Stranded in Bermuda, they were only able to return to their native Honduras last summer after Capital G sponsored their tickets. The bank was a trustee to one of two trusts that in turn owned Estrellas Management, owners of the vessel. The names of those behind the trust remained cloaked in secrecy.

The Bermuda Industrial Union stepped in to help the seamen fight their case through the courts, as the men are members of an affiliated union overseas.

A notice in the

Official Gazette earlier this year announced the auction of the ship, which has been tethered to the dock at Marginal Wharf in St David’s for several years, would be conducted via sealed bids.

Deputy Provost Marshall General Donna Millington, the Government official who organised the sale, failed to respond to numerous requests from this newspaper for an update on the auction and what the sale price was.

However, a notice in the

Official Gazette on Friday, February 24, issued by Ms Millington, said: “The ship

M.V. Niobe Corinthian has been sold by order of the Supreme Court in an Admiralty Action. The gross proceeds of $65,156.50 have been paid into the court. The order of priority of the claims against the said proceeds will not be determined until after the expiration of the period of 90 days, that is, until after April 30 2012.”

The notice asked anyone with a claim against the ship or the proceeds of sale who wishes to proceed to judgement to do so before that date.

Louis Somner of the BIU said it remained unclear at this stage who is due money in addition to the crewmen.

“There was an auction process; bids were received and cheques paid into the courts. However the Attorney General’s Chambers are saying that another process needs to take place before the crew can receive their back wages,” he said.

A Supreme Court hearing has been set for Thursday, March 1 in the case.

Asked about the buyer of the controversial ship, Mr Somner described it as a “blind trust”. He said he did not know what the trust, which he described as “a local entity,” paid, but it was more than some international bids received.

Niobe Corinthian (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published February 27, 2012 at 8:57 am (Updated February 27, 2012 at 8:56 am)

Casino ship auction nets $65,156 towards debts

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