Navibulgar made a rare public statement to dismiss any connection with a drug load found earlier this week in Ireland on one of its bulkers.

The Bulgarian company, by contrast, maintains strict radio silence about another of its ships held captive in Africa, most likely by resurgent Somali pirates.

In the drugs case, Navibulgar said that any drug trafficking on board the 32,200-dwt Verila (built 2022) would “not only constitute a serious crime, but also a gross violation of [Navibulgar’s] values, internal rules, policies and procedures”.