Published October 20, 2012
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Argentina has decided to evacuate about 300 crew members from the ARA Libertad, a navy training ship seized in Ghana nearly three weeks ago in a legal dispute over debts.
Only the captain and a few sailors will remain on the sailing ship, which is being held as collateral for debts owed to NML Capital Ltd. and billionaire Paul Singer. Singer leads a group demanding payment in full plus interest for Argentine bonds bought at fire sale prices after the country's economy collapsed a decade ago.
NML offered to let the ship leave for $20 million, but Argentina is refusing to pay what it calls extortion money.
The crew includes sailors from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and South Africa.