Captain of Death Ship Should Be Charged, ITF Says

The International Transport Workers’ Federation has called for the coroner to recommend charging Venancio Salas, the captain of the notorious MV Sage Sagittarius, in connection with mysterious deaths at sea.

The final submission was made to the coronial inquiry into two out of three deaths on board the Japanese-owned coal carrier, which was dubbed the “death ship”.

In 2012, the Flag of Convenience ship’s chief cook and chief engineer died in “highly suspicious circumstances” off the Australian coast. A company official sent by the ship owners to investigate, was found dead on board once it docked back in Japan.

Counsel assisting told the inquest the two deaths were a result of foul play, and the Panama-flagged ship’s captain lied to Federal Police about his whereabouts at the time and had the opportunity and motive to delete data from the bridge voice recorder, ITF informed.

“The ITF will submit Captain Salas committed an indictable offence in perverting the course of justice, and will call for the coroner to recommend he be charged,” ITF National Coordinator, Dean Summers,  said.

The coronial inquiry has heard allegations that the captain was involved in gun dealing and admitted to physically assaulting his crew.

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