A New South Wales Coroner has released findings into the Sage Sagittarius case, proving two seafarers were murdered on board the Panama-registered ship off the Australian coast.
After a two-year investigation, the NSW Coroner found the ship’s chief cook Cesar Llanto and chief engineer Hector Collado met with foul play at the hands of other unidentified persons on board the Flag of Convenience (FOC) ship, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) cited the International Transport Workers’ Federation.
The Coroner recommended the findings be sent to Japanese authorities to investigate a third suspicious death on board. A company official, sent by the owners to Australia to investigate, was found dead on the ship once it docked back in Japan.
The vessel, referred to as the “death ship”, has been involved in three incidents in only 6 months.
“This inquest has highlighted the fact there are very significant practical impediments created by a disappearance or death on board a foreign flagged vessel,” the Coroner said.
The triple unexplained deaths in 2012 on board the ship, trading between Newcastle and Japan, sparked a federal police investigation and subsequent Senate Inquiry.