The tanker at the centre of a North Korea sanctions-busting storm no longer bears the Maldives flag, official records show.
The Xin Yuan 18 sailed into choppy waters when it was spotted with a Maldivian flag and lying alongside a North Korean-flagged tanker around 250 kilometres east of Shanghai at midnight on February 24, according to Japan’s foreign ministry.
Authorities denied the tanker was registered in the Maldives. The President’s Office condemned the use of the Maldivian flag and said the MMSI number – the nine digits used to identify vessels in radio communications – of the Xin Yuan 18 was not registered in the Maldives.
The International Maritime Organization now lists the Xin Yuan 18 with an unknown flag.
The Maldives Independent contacted the Transport Authority to find out when the updated information was given to the IMO and if the TA would also check the status of other Maldivian-flagged vessels listed on the IMO website.
The information official said they did not give out such information and that the request for details would have to be put in writing and sent to the CEO.
The opposition has claimed the Xin Yuan 18 is linked to President Abdulla Yameen’s family.