China agrees French police check suspect ship

12th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

FANGCHENG, China, March 12 (AFP) - China has agreed to let French police assist in an inspection of a Philippine freighter suspected of involvement in the sinking of a trawler that left five French fishermen dead, diplomats said Friday.

FANGCHENG, China, March 12 (AFP) - China has agreed to let French police assist in an inspection of a Philippine freighter suspected of involvement in the sinking of a trawler that left five French fishermen dead, diplomats said Friday.

The 39,000-tonne Seattle Trader is one of six ships being investigated for a possible role in the sinking of the Bugaled Breizh on January 15 in the English Channel.

Diplomatic sources in Beijing said French police will accompany a Chinese inspection but no date has been fixed.

French police, holding a warrant for international assistance, are expected to leave France Friday for the southern Chinese port of Fangcheng where the bulk freighter is anchored.

Port officials said the Filipino crew were still waiting for visas so they could disembark.

Victoria Shipping, the Manila-based owners of the ship, has denied that its vessel was involved in the incident but has sent a representative, a marine superintendent, to assist in any inquiry.

The captain and owner of the freighter resisted an earlier effort by French officials to inspect the ship as it made its way through the Suez canal.

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news

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