The state must supervise operations of crewing companies — Kyva

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The death of Ukrainian sailors on board the Turkish vessel Atlantic Harmony, arrested near the coast of Cape Verde, should be subject to examination by law enforcement agencies, Head of the Socialist Party of Ukraine Illia Kyva has said at a press conference in UNIAN.

"There is an assumption that these deaths are murder cases. Perhaps, the guys witnessed unlawful actions on the board of the ship. We will address the SBU [Security Service of Ukraine], the police and Interpol. The first mate is also a citizen of Ukraine. He is a resident of Odesa, Serhiy Tarkhanov. And he is responsible for the crew. Therefore, our law enforcement agencies should understand and establish the extent of his guilt," the politician said.

Wives of sailors also suspect that their husbands could be killed through violence.

"When I was talking to the first mate, he told me that the examination showed that he died of pulmonary edema. No alcohol or drugs were found in the blood. But he hid from me the fact that by the time of our conversation there was already the second victim on the ship. After promising to send me a photo of the expert testimony, then he refused to do so, referring to the captain's ban. Instead, they sent me photos of how they were allegedly helping my husband. But I know every cell of his body, and I can say: these are staged photos, my husband was already dead on them," Olha, the wife of second mate of the captain of the Atlantic Harmony ship Oleksiy Lukashov, said.

Kateryna Chervona, the wife of third engineer of the ship Oleksandr Chervony, also casts doubt on the natural causes of her husband's death.

"My husband was absolutely healthy when the ship set sail. And when I talked to him on the phone, he was also healthy. But recently he had some depressed mood. He said that he wants to return home. But the captain told him that he could do it only at his own expense. I do not know what was happening on the ship, my husband did not tell me that, but the whole situation seems suspicious," she said.

The head of the SPU said that he intends to file an application about criminal actions of some persons to law enforcement agencies.

"Today there is a whole industry for selling people into slavery in Ukraine. Crewing companies take bribes from $1,000 to $5,000 to allow sailors to join the ships that set sail. It is business on people's lives. In addition, they have a percentage of their salaries. And finally, they are not responsible for anything. We will appeal to law enforcement agencies with an application about criminal actions of some persons. This is a question for the SBU: who controls the crewing companies that send people for slaughter abroad. They consider people as cattle. Let us look for these people who profit from death," Kyva said.

He also said that the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine should ensure the return of the bodies of the sailors to their homeland as soon as possible. In turn, Deputy Director of the Department of Consular Service of the Foreign Ministry Vasyl Kyrylych said that the required procedures are already being conducted. The Ukrainian consul in Senegal and Cape Verde today is at the scene of the incident and began executing the necessary formalities.