11:26 | 25/04/2016 Cooperation
The impact of China's anti-graft campaign has stretched well beyond Macau's borders, with Hong Kong's once flourishing casino cruise ship industry left decimated and staff stranded.
The number of casino ships in Hong Kong has been slashed due to a dramatic fall in business
According to a report by Reuters at the weekend, the number of casino ships being operated out of Hong Kong has been slashed from 12 a few years ago to just four today following a dramatic fall in business.
Worst hit, however, is the crew of 140-meter cruiser New Imperial Star where 46 men and women are still waiting to be paid after the ship was impounded for "serious deficiencies" found by Hong Kong's Marine Department during an inspection in October. The crew has refused to leave the ship since.
Captain Valerie Lyzhyn told Reuters that the crew was owed around HK$1.3 million in salaries and had been living off a rapidly dwindling supply of rations as they wait for the situation to be resolved.
But with the owners having apparently disappeared after failing to keep up maintenance fees, that may take a while. The crew's best hope now is for Hong Kong authorities to formally impound the ship and instigate a legal process that would ultimately see them paid their missing wages.
In its prime, the New Imperial Star would regularly pick up over 200 passengers in a night at Hong Kong's Tsim Sha Tsui pier – setting sail for international waters around 20:00 before returning 12 hours later./.