Report: South Korea Seeking Arrest Warrants Over 2017 Stellar Daisy Sinking in South Atlantic

File photo shows the 266.141 dwt MV Stellar Daisy. Photo: Yeong Ryong Kim

South Korean authorities are seeking an arrest warrant for the head of Polaris Shipping along with four others related to the 2017 sinking of the Stellar Daisy in the South Atlantic.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap News, maritime police lodged a request with prosecutors on Wednesday seeking the arrest of Kim Wan-joon, CEO and Chairman of Polaris, as well as two other company executives. Additional media reports suggested warrants are also being sought against an inspector of Korean Register of Shipping and two others from a company responsible for inspecting the vessel.

The Marshall Islands-flagged Stellar Daisy was carrying 266,000 metric tons of iron ore when it went missing off the coast of Uruguay on April 1, 20,17 during a voyage from Brazil to China. The sinking claimed the lives of 22 crew members, leaving only two survivors who were rescued from a life raft by a merchant ship. 

The very large ore carrier (VLOC) Stellar Daisy was owned and operated by South Korea’s Polaris Shipping. It was one of several vessels in the Polaris fleet that had been converted from Very Large Crude Carriers.

So far no report has been issued about the loss of the Stellar Daisy and the cause of the sinking has not been officially determined.

A deep-sea search for the missing vessel was launched in December.

According to Yonhap, Chairman Kim Wan-joong and the two Polaris executives are facing charges of violation of shipping safety law, but police are also pursuing additional charges including negligent homicide, the report said. 

A court hearing has been set for Thursday to decide on the arrests, the report added.