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Argentine creditors want 20m dollars to release ARA Libertad retained in Ghana

Wednesday, October 10th 2012 - 18:50 UTC
Full article 49 comments
The Ghana high court is expected to rule in the dispute on Thursday The Ghana high court is expected to rule in the dispute on Thursday

Argentina is refusing to pay the 20 million dollars in ransom that New York hedge fund dealer Paul Singer is demanding in exchange for releasing the country’s Naval training vessel currently retained in the port of Tempa, Ghana, West Africa, reports the New York Post.

At a court hearing today in Ghana on Tuesday, where Singer’s lawyers are holding the ARA Libertad hostage, a lawyer for Argentina argued that Singer had no right to detain the ship because it’s a military vessel and immune from seizure.

Lawyer Larry Otoo called the seizure — a move by Singer to force Argentina to repay a 1.6 billion debt he says he’s owed — an embarrassment to Ghana and demanded the ship’s immediate return. Argentina labels Elliot Management as a “vulture fund”.

The court is expected to rule Thursday on whether to release the ship.

Singer head of hedge fund giant Elliot Management, is seeking to recoup some of the 600 million dollars in bonds he purchased as Argentina was headed for default in 2001/02.

Elliot bought the bonds at steep discounts, paying as little as 15 cents on the dollar in some cases, but has since won judgments of as much as 1.6 billion. Elliot’s NML Capital unit is pursuing Argentina’s assets all over the world in an effort to collect on its debt.

Ace Ankomah, a lawyer for NML, argued before the Ghana court that Argentina explicitly waived immunity when it issued the bonds and said NML might not be able to recover its debt if the vessel is permitted to leave Ghana.

Last week, NML convinced a court in Ghana to detain the ship as it docked at the port of Tema in Ghana’s capital of Accra. A judge in Ghana ordered the seizure of the ship as part of a 280 million dollars judgment NML was awarded in 2006 in Manhattan federal court.

According to the New York Post, NML has told Argentina it would accept 20 million dollars in exchange for the ship, according to a person close to the negotiations. However ARA Libertad, is estimated to be worth 10 million dollars.

ARA Libertad as a Navy training vessel is on a world tour with 160 cadets on their officers’ promotion trip and also includes members from other South American and African navies, specially invited.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • surfer

    Pay. Your. Debts.

    Oct 10th, 2012 - 07:12 pm 0
  • Pirat-Hunter

    20 million pesos sounds like an excellent deal to cancel a the 600 million $ scam, I think Argentina should let them have the vessel and accept the theft if the whole loan would be cancelled, because we can all agree that Argentina doesn't have or ever benefited from the scheme coocked up by IMF and their conspirators. What we should ask the courts in ghana is for the evidence showing Argentine tax payers where the money went and how it was spent because if they have rights to theft Argentine tax payers money we have the right to seek justice as well, we do want punishment for theft as well, or do we just punish everyone else while we hide the real criminals in USA and UK? Let them have the boat and take an illegal ship touring Antartica Argentina in exchange. I think USA and UK has lots of property in Argentina that we could repossess, their embassies would be a good starting point.

    Oct 10th, 2012 - 07:20 pm 0
  • i_slept(with)Toby

    And I regret it!

    Oct 10th, 2012 - 07:31 pm 0
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