Dec 1, 78 • 2100 • Georgetown-State • 4066

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 788 of the FBI’s RYMUR release.]

UNCLASSIFIED FBB 179

[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on pdf]

0 012100Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8307
INFO AMEMBASSY PANAMA
AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 4066
E.O. 12065: N/A
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO), GY
SUBJECT: CUSTODY OF VESSEL “ALBATROSS II [III]”

1. SUBJECT VESSEL REPORTED TO BE IN BRIDGETOWN WITH PT MEMBERS CHARLES TOUCHETTE AND PHILIP BLAKEY ON BOARD. SHIPPING AGENT HERE HAS INFORMED EMBASSY THAT VESSEL IS REGISTERED IN PANAMA (#7941 PEXT) AND THAT REGISTERED OWNER IS A PANAMANIAN CORPORATION. CONNECTION BETWEEN CORPORATION AND PT HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED.

2. QUESTION HAS ARISEN REGARDING THE POSSIBILITY OF ACTION BY US CONSUL, BRIDGETOWN, TO ESTABLISH US CUSTODY OVER VESSEL. SUCH ACTION DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE AUTHORIZED BY 22 USC SEC. 1175 SINCE VESSEL IS NOT PART OF THE STATE OF DECEASED US CITIZEN DOMICILED WITHIN BARBADOS AT TIME OF DEATH. ARTICLE 18 OF CONSULAR TREATY (3 UST 3426) DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT DECEDENT BE DOMICILED WITHIN BARBADOS, AND THUS MAY PROVIDE INDEPENDENT BASIS FOR CONSULAR CUSTODY, ASSUMING CONNECTION BETWEEN REGISTERED OWNER AND PT CAN BE ESTABLISHED. SITUATION IS FURTHER COMPLICATED BY FACT THAT VESSEL CANNOT BE IDENTIFIED AS PART OF THE PERSONAL ESTATE OF ANY INDIVIDUAL US CITIZEN.

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 02 GEORGE 04066 012154Z

SIMILAR DIFFICULTY EXISTS IN GUYANA REGARDING “ORGANIZATIONAL PROPERTY” OF PT. EMBASSY HAS ATTACHED CONSULAR SEALS TO SUCH PROPERTY IN ORDER TO PRESERVE ANY CLAIM WHICH US MAY HAVE ON BEHALF OF INDIVIDUAL US CITIZENS.

3. DEPARTMENT IS REQUESTED TO DETERMINE WHETHER EMBASSY BRIDGETOWN SHOULD BE INSTRUCTED TO CONSULT WITH GOB [GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS] REGARDING ATTACHMENT OF CONSULAR SEALS TO THE “ALBATROSS”, AND POSSIBILITY OF DETENTION OF VESSEL BY GOB.

BURKE [John Burke, American ambassador to Guyana]

UNCLASSIFIED

Originally posted on March 17th, 2020.

Last modified on July 2nd, 2022.
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