The former manager of a Vanuatu inter-island transport service owned by Papua New Guinea shipping figure Peter Sharp has successfully sought a Supreme Court order to have the firm's remaining boat in the country detained.
Ian Sturtevant was hired by Windward Holdings in 2011, overseeing the operations of the vessels, Efate Queen and Santo Queen.
However Mr Sturtevant was suspended last year amid claims by Mr Sharp that he had mismanaged the operations.
Mr Sturtevant has started court proceedings against Mr Sharp over outstanding pay owed to him and 25 other former staff.
He says Peter Sharp cleaned out his Vanuatu accounts after running into financial problems in PNG following the sinking of his vessel, the Rabaul Queen, which killed over 140 people.
"Efate Queen ended up going back to PNG eventually supposedly because of the defects but there was nothing wrong with it because it was on the slip, it got a twelve-month clean bill of health. It probably deteriorated over the last six months because they handn't done any maintenance on it. Santo Queen ran irregularly but at the moment it's detained in Santo again."