Sweden could lift block on Turkish scandal ship

A Turkish scandal ship held in south-western Sweden may be allowed to leave next week, more than a fortnight after Swedish authorities blocked its departure "for safety reasons".

Sweden could lift block on Turkish scandal ship
Whiskey Trio at the harbour in Varberg, Sweden. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

“We will inspect the ship at the beginning of next week,” Tomas Åström of the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) told the TT newswire.

The Panamanian-flagged Whiskey Trio, belonging to a Turkish company called Trio Shipping, has remained at the Varberg port in Halland county since January 22nd.

It was prohibited from leaving port after a transport workers' union contacted by crew on board alerted authorities to below-par safety and working conditions, describing on its website “a rusty ship with poverty wages”, “laden with rockets and explosives”.

Union inspector Göran Larsson said that he was shocked at seeing the poor living conditions, including dirty and dilapitated cabins, outdated food and insufficient water points when he visited the ship.

Nine people were originally part of the crew, however the majority have since left the ship and returned home to Turkey, and a group of another five members will take their place.

Some of the cargo has already been transferred to another vessel, which has left the Varberg port. Very little information has been made available on the exact details of its content.

But the explosives and what Swedish authorities classify as 'dangerous goods' remained on board Whiskey Trio on Thursday.

“What that part of the load consists of, I have no comments about, but this too will be loaded on to another ship,” said Carl-Henrik Hägg of Halland's port authority, adding that the process of unloading the explosives would begin on Friday.