Posted at 03:13 on 21 February, 2013 UTC
Vanuatu’s Maritime Affairs Technical Advisory Committee has issued provisional registration to the mega yacht, the Phocea.
The vessel has been detained in Port Vila harbour since last July when it was seized by officials, originally on suspicion of drugs and guns smuggling.
Despite efforts by the government to release the boat, the Ports Authority has kept the Phocea detained due to false documentations and its lack of registration.
Now, a six-month registration with restrictive conditions has been signed by the Deputy Commissioner of the Committee, Guy Benard.
The Committee says the registration allows the Phocea to sail to Thailand for further permanent registration on the Vanuatu International registry after full survey.
A copy of the registration certificate identifies Vanuatu’s honorary Consul to Vietnam, Pascal Anh Quan Saken, as co-owner and operator of the Phocea.
Mr Saken has previously accused Vanuatu authorities of detaining the Phocea in order to charge exorbitant berthing fees.
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