July 23, 2004

Master held in bomb scare

Captain Yildirim Bayazer Turner will appear in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, today to face charges of making a false statement to a federal official, according to published reports.

Tumer, 46, became agitated when members of the Philadelphia Coast Guard boarded the 611-foot MV Cenk Kaptanoglu for a routine inspection Thursday morning, the Delaware News Journal quotes Barry Maddox, a spokesman for the FBI's Baltimore field office, as saying.

Tumer reportedly told an officer that there was a bomb on board et to blow up when the ship docked at the port of Philadelphia. The Coast Guard notified the FBI and other agencies, and the ship was turned around and held at an anchorage point near Bowers Beach. A search that lasted a few hours found no evidence of a bomb.

The ship will continue to be held until investigations are completed.

The News Journal report quotes a Coast Guard spokesman as saying that an inspection crew had boarded the ship to escort it to Philadelphia, because "this vessel has had a history of absconders and stowaways."

The ship is registered to ILERI DENIZCILIK of Istanbul, Turkey, and managed by KAPTANOGLU SHIPMANAGEMENT, which shares the same street address, according to the equasis.org data base. Equasis shows the ship has had a number of deficiencies found in inspections by Paris MOU port state control and the U.S. Coasst Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard's Port State Information Exchange (PSIX) data base shows details of the ship's previous encounters with the agency (http://cgmix.uscg.mil/PSIX/PSIX2/detail.asp?vkey=&VesselID=227319)

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