• Ship company director previously imprisoned for over two years
  • Confirms ship is his and that he was aware of the mission
  • Mail Online columnist Katie Hopkins “looking forward to meeting the crew” in week of reporting

 

HOPE not hate’s investigations show the director of the company chartering the ship, ‘Suunta’ (now renamed ‘C-Star’) is a convicted fraudster.

Sven Tomas Egerstrom, director of Marine Global Services LTD, which own the C-Star, was convicted of fraud in 2002 and sentenced to prison for two-and-a-half years in jail, Swedish criminal records reveal.

Egerstrom’s record of fraud

When contacted for comment, Ergstrom confirmed that his company does indeed own the C-Star and that it has provided the onboard crew for the mission.

He also confirmed that he was aware of Defend Europe’s intentions when he allowed it to charter the ship. When asked what he thought of his boat being used by far-right activists, he said:

“We don’t take political places or stance in a commercial business for any grounds. […] I don’t see any problem with the vessel being in the area conducting legal research.” 

In relation to possible illegality of Defend Europe’s actions, he added:

“We won’t let our vessels get involved in any form of illegal activity at all, and if the vessel is involved in illegal activity we fully expect the authorities to deal with that.” 

Defend Europe’s mission to monitor and confront search-and-rescue NGO ships and return refugees crossing the Mediterranean back towards Libya – a failed state – has recently gained a wider profile.

Controversial Mail Online columnist Katie Hopkins, who once declared “I’d use gunships to stop migrants”, announced she would be reporting all week for the site.

Katie Hopkins’ despicable comments on refugees
The link to Ergstrom

HOPE not hate has been tracking the C-Star, which has the ship identification number 7392854, all week. All satellite tracking of the ship indicates that it has followed the route described by Defend Europe: setting off from the east African coast of Djibouti towards the Suez Canal and onward into the Mediterranean.

Equasis’ record of Maritime Global Services Ltd
Equasis’ record of the C Star vessel

However, according to Equasis, which provides data on shipping safety, the ship is also listed as of February 2017 with the number 5989509. Equasis’ profile of this vessel directs you to the World Shipping Directory’s (WSD) profile of the company listed as ship/commercial manager of the vessel, “Maritime Global Services LTD”.

The WSD, in turn, provides a link to Maritime Global Services’ website. Consisting of a single page, this site provides little additional information, though directs you to a further site – www.cvessels.com – for further information.

The WSD record of Maritime Global Services
Maritime Global Services’ site

According to the About page of cvessels.com, C Vessels was founded in 2012 as a “development from security services provided of the East African coast”, and, “Since early 2017 [they] have developed a focus on the N European market for guard vessels, chase vessels, survey vessels and offshore maintenance and accommodation vessels.”

C Vessels specification of the “MV C Star”

The site states the company has two vessels, one of which is named the ‘MV C Star’. The specifications, image provided and identification number for the vessel match the original identification number for the C-Star, 7392854.

The contact page, which lists the same Cardiff address found on all the previous sites, states “’C-Vessels’ is a business name for “Maritime Global Services Ltd” (UK), Registered in England & wales”.

Companies House UK lists the same Cardiff office address and states that the director of Maritime Global Services is a Mr. Sven Tomas Egerstrom, whose correspondence address is also in Cardiff.