Argentina is investigating Ghana’s seizure of one of its navy ships following a court order obtained by creditors suing Argentina in international courts over its 2002 sovereign debt default.
The Libertad training frigate – which was seized on 2 October in the Ghanaian port of Tema and which still has its crew of 300 on board – is being held by bondholders who refuse to release the vessel over the $300 million debt they say Argentina owes a US hedge fund from a decade ago.
The Libertad was detained under a court order obtained by NML Capital Ltd, an affiliate of investment firm Elliott Management, which says it will only release the ship if Argentina pays it at least $20 million.
Argentina has condemned the seizure of the ship, claiming that its detention by creditors is illegal due to the vessel’s military nature. However a Ghanaian court ruled that the ship’s detention was legal.
Argentina has dismissed its navy chief Carlos Alberto Paz as well as two other senior officials as part of its ongoing investigation into why the navy decided to dock in Ghana in the first place.
The Libertad had been on a tour of west Africa, with Angola scheduled as its next stop.