31 Dec 2011

American Samoa court dismisses New Zealand fishing company claim

9:54 am on 31 December 2011

The high court of American Samoa has dismissed without prejudice New Zealand fishing company Sanford's lawsuit against the American Samoa Government over the detention of the vessel the San Nikunau.

On December 16, the San Nikunau was cleared to leave port after the US Coast Guard asked Customs to lift its hold on the vessel.

This was after the owners of the vessel posted a one million US dollar bond with the federal government, which is investigating alleged pollution violations in connection with the San Nikunau's activities in American Samoa.

The investigation, conducted by the Coast Guard, led to a federal indictment handed down last month, charging Sanford with violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, conspiracy and obstruction during an investigation.