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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2003, 06:39 AM
Raoul Fiebig's Avatar
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Hi Doug,

I've only seen that one dpa (German Press Agency) news release dated December 17th, 2002. Here's a quick translation (sorry for any mistakes):

quote:
Ferry Fire with 159 dead: Owner behind arson?

Copenhagen (dpa) - More than 12 years after the fire onboard the ferry "Scandinavian Star" in which 159 people were killed, the owner is now getting into prosecutors' sights. Danish justice is to investigate whether the owner ordered to lay the fire because of an insurance bounty, the "Politiken" newspaper wrote on Tuesday (December 17th, 2002). Copenhagen's public prosecutors' office confirmed to the newspaper that police have launched a new investigation following the presentation of incriminating evidence by relatives of some of the victims.

The ship caught fire in the night of April 7th, 1990 in the Skagerrak. Originally a Danish citizen who also died in the tragedy was believed to be the arsonist due to his past history. In 1993, a Copenhagen court sentenced the responsible ship owner Henrik Johansen, his managing director und the Captain to six months in prison because of numerous severe safety violations. According to the evidence now presented, Johansen simply acted as a front man for the US company SeaEscape, which acquired the ship one-and-a-half weeks before the fire for US$ 10.3 million, but at the same time the company took out an insurance worth US$ 24 million.

The survivor Mike Axdell who has been quoted by Danish media numerous times plans to present witnesses, who shall confirm that the fire was laid in several places onboard the ship on the company's order. The death of so many people had "not been planned" but reportedly was the result of mistakes made in alarming the sleeping passengers. Axdell lost his father and brother in the fire. His demand to launch a new official investigation is being supported by the former chief prosecutor of the Norwegian criminal investigation department, Řyvind Thorkildsen.


Best regards,

Raoul Fiebig
Das Ruderhaus
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Best regards,

Raoul Fiebig

  #12 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2003, 11:33 AM
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Raoul, thanks for that translation. I have seen nothing of the sort in the American press, if I were to go right now into Times Square and start asking people, I doubt I could find a person who has heard of the SCANDINAVIAN STAR, except perhaps for someone who has NORWEGIAN STAR and thought they had been on her .

What I find very interesting about this whole insurance fraud business is that ISP actually BOUGHT the ship at auction AFTER the accident... So obviously they WANTED her!

The "insurance fraud" scenario, it would seem, goes like this:

SeaEscape "sells" ship to Danish ISP "front company", for $10m.
Da-No Line (aka ISP) insure ship for $24m, have her burned to collect insurance money.
They kill, "by accident", 158 people in the process.

Anyone know if they ever actually COLLECTED the insurance money? And how much they paid for CANDI (ex SCANDINAVIAN STAR) at auction in Southampton in 1994?

IF they managed to get the $24m in insurance, and then bought the ship back at a low price (at auction), they would have made quite a profit... But with 158 lives lost in the process !

That is so disgusting, that I frankly find it hard to believe... Yes ISP has always come off as a rather "shady" company, but I never thought in terms of them "accidentally" murdering 158 people to collect insurance money, as is alleged by the people who are pressuring for the re-opening of the investigation!

It will certainly be VERY interesting to see how this unfolds!
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2003, 03:22 PM
Raoul Fiebig's Avatar
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quote:
Originally posted by shiploverny:
Raoul, thanks for that translation. I have seen nothing of the sort in the American press, if I were to go right now into Times Square and start asking people, I doubt I could find a person who has heard of the SCANDINAVIAN STAR, except perhaps for someone who has NORWEGIAN STAR and thought they had been on her .


Hi Doug,

the result would have been even more disastrous over here, as hardly anybody has ever heard of either the "Scandinavian Star" or the "Norwegian Star".

quote:
That is so disgusting, that I frankly find it hard to believe... Yes ISP has always come off as a rather "shady" company, but I never thought in terms of them "accidentally" murdering 158 people to collect insurance money, as is alleged by the people who are pressuring for the re-opening of the investigation!


I agree, and I will keep an eye on this, that's for sure. The sinking of the "SeaBreeze I" is another "interesting" part of the "ISP Story" (and I've also seen the phrase "insurance fraud" being used in connection with it), but the "Scandinavian Star" disaster already is one of the darkest moments in European shipping since the war, and it would be truly devastating if the victims' accusations against ISP are true.

Best regards,

Raoul Fiebig
Das Ruderhaus
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Best regards,

Raoul Fiebig

  #14 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2003, 08:07 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Raoul Fiebig:
the "Scandinavian Star" disaster already is one of the darkest moments in European shipping since the war, and it would be truly devastating if the victims' accusations against ISP are true.

I agree... The other darkest moments being HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE and of course the famous ESTONIA, the latter also being the result of corruption (thought not that the sinking was intentional, but rather, the corrupt investigation of the accident, and the bad maintenance of the ship).

If the allegations are true, I suppose that the persons at ISP responsible had ought to be tried for 158 counts of murder each. I still doubt if the allegations of ISP intentionally destroying the ship are true... At least I HOPE they are not... But if they are, it is a DISGUSTING thing to have been done! They could at least have done it with nobody aboard ...

A note though - wouldn't the INSURANCE COMPANIES have been a little, er, skeptical of this and themselves investigated?

Or did ISP/SeaEscape/whoever owned the ship not get insurance money at all?
 
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