South African sailing vessel MMSI: 601694200 RONIN has been fined 84,057.16 golles ($150,000 US dollars based on this week's exchange rates) by the Vema Seamount Authority after the vessel ignored calls by the Mount Vema Maritime Authorities to leave the Vema Seamount territorial waters.
The Mount Vema Police is investigating the activities of the pleasure vessel for the 3rd day now, which activities are believed to be beyond pleasure. Full details of the vessel have been provided by MRCC Cape Town to the Vema Seamount Authority this morning. The vessel operator has been informed by both MRCC Cape Town and by The Vema Seamount Authority and asked to leave Mount Vema.
Because the vessel continues its illegal activities within the Vema Seamount territorial waters, the Mount Vema division in charge of counter terrorism has been informed. The owners of the vessel will be fined 50,000 golles for every day the vessel remains within the Vema Seamount Territory and will face criminal prosecution.
According to the Mount Vema Police, the masters and charterers of the vessel will also be prosecuted. This could lead to additional fines, the forfeit of the vessel if or when sailing through the Vema Seamount Territorial waters, and every vessel managed by the company could be at risk of being detained until the fine has been paid and the accused report to the Mount Vema police.
This is a developing story, and the second penalty with more to come as Mount Vema opens an investigation looking into claims that ships are switching off their Automatic Identification System (AIS), which gives off electronic signal that indicate their speed, location and heading every 10 minutes.