Crew of seized Argentina ship fly home


The Argentinian sailing ship ARA Libertad was seized by an American hedge fund as compensation for a bond the government failed to pay in 2001.


Ricardo Figueredo

Nearly 300 crew members of an Argentina ship seized in Ghana flew home on Wednesday after being docked for weeks on behalf of creditors seeking money lost on defaulted bonds.

According to Reuters, the cadets who had been on board the training vessel boarded a chartered Air France flight in Accra and headed to Buenos Aires, taking off after a four-hour delay. A statement posted o Argentine President Cristina Fernandez's website said they were scheduled to arrive home that same evening and would return to training on November 5 after medical checks.

More from GlobalPost: US hedge fund seized an Argentine naval ship

"When they return from their break, the midshipmen will resume training that will allow them to meet the objectives necessary to graduate as planned on December 8," the statement read.

While the crew was able to come home, the Libertad was not. The Associated Press reported that it could be stuck in Ghana indefinitely, since Fernandez refuses to negotiate with investment fund NML Capital Ltd., which has said the Argentines owe more than $300 million to pay off bonds that went into default during the country's economic crisis a decade ago.

The sailors landed in Ezeiza airport near Buenos Aires shortly after midnight, according to France 24. Many called the homecoming bittersweet, as they had hoped to sail the ship home.

"I would have liked to stay with the frigate because it is Argentinian and I wanted to stay and fight," an unnamed sailor said at Ezeiza airport. "We hope to recover it, I want to go back to get it."