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Sixteen Cuban crewmen are stuck in a remote African port with few money in their pockets, they were owed 11 months and the wood load on board their ship has been regarded as illegal.

It is said the Cubans and other six crewmen from the Maldives Islands left the cargo ship Medea K after leaking in Mayumba, one strip of sand with a dock in the south of Gabón, in Central Africa.

Esteban Casañas, a former captain of the Cuban merchant fleet, who exiled 18 years ago and now lives in Toronto, said it is very common for Cuban crews to be abandoned in any port of the world.

Casañas and Spain's EFE news agency reported the problems began Oct. 19, when the 31-year old, 466-foot Medea K, registered in Panama, began taking on water as it loaded a cargo of lumber in Mayumba. The ship is now listing heavily to its left.

The Medea K's cargo consisted of ``precious woods'' loaded in Mayumba and bound for China, which may signal some illegal logging, said one shipping expert who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitive nature of the issue.

Source: The Miami

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