Argentina ship in Ghana seized over loans default

ghana map

An Argentine naval ship has been seized in Ghana at the request of investors who lost out when Argentina defaulted on its loans in 2001.

The Libertad, a training ship on a tour of Africa, was prevented from leaving Ghana by court order on Wednesday.

Argentina's foreign ministry condemned the move as "a stunt" pulled by "vulture funds" which contravenes the Geneva Convention.

It said it had contacted Ghanaian authorities in order to free the ship.

"The vulture funds have crossed a new line in their attacks on Argentina," the foreign ministry statement said.

"The foreign ministry has already approached the African nation to clarify the stunt pulled by the unscrupulous financiers."

A Ghanaian court detained the ship at the request of NML Capital, a subsidiary of US hedge fund Elliot Capital Management, one of Argentina's former creditors.

NML, which is based in the UK, gave no comment on the case when contacted by the BBC.

Argentina defaulted on more than $100bn (£62bn) of debt in 2001 and 2002, the biggest default in history. The majority of these loans were restructured in 2005 and 2010, giving creditors around 30% of their money back.

Some creditors including Elliot chose to hold out, pursuing the Argentine government through the courts in order to recover the full amount.

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