Athens-based Eletson Gas has won the release of one of its midsize LPG carriers from arrest at Mumbai and told TradeWinds the arrest was"totally unlawful".

High Court of Bombay documents confirmed the release of the 35,500-cbm Anafi (built 2009).

The development comes six days after TradeWinds reported that Dubai-based bunkerer Axiom Global Oil & Gas Trading had arrested the ship over a $374,000 claim connected to another vessel, the 69,400-dwt crude tanker Strofades (built 2006).

The Strofades is one of a series of Eletson Corp vessels arrested this year by Chinese lease finance houses. But the tanker is unrelated to Eletson Gas, whose ships face no such claims from financiers.

Gas-carrier owner Eletson Gas shares some management staff with tanker owner and ship manager Eletson Corp and the companies are affiliated through private Eletson Holdings. But they are legally distinct, with a different shareholding structure. US financial giant Blackstone is a shareholder in Eletson Gas.

"The arrest of the Eletson Gas vessel Anafi, as reported on Friday 28 May, was totally unlawful as a matter of maritime and Indian law and wholly unrelated to the operations or finances of Eletson Gas," said a management team member in an official company statement to TradeWinds.

"It was promptly withdrawn on 3 June in the High Court of Bombay. The Anafi has resumed its scheduled charter without further disruption."

The lawyer for the arresting bunkerer, Shashank Agrawal of SSA Legal Gujarat, commented: "We acted in the right jurisdiction to timely protect the interests of our clients and we have been tremendously successful as you can see."

Sources in India tell TradeWinds the vessel was scheduled to berth on 29 May but delayed for several days, first because of the arrest and then because of port congestion.

TradeWinds understands the vessel is on charter to Bharat Petroleum Corp at a rate of approximately $30,000 per day.

Court records show that the release followed a payment of some $304,000, but not from Eletson Gas or the vessel's registered owner.

"[The vessel's Mumbai lawyer Amitava] Majumdar states that the payment was made by the managers of the offending vessel [Strofades] and not by the defendant [Anafi]," wrote Judge Milind Jadhav of the High Court of Bombay in his release order. "The defendant does not admit to the plaintiff's contention that the defendant vessel and the offending vessel have the same beneficial owner."

Sources close to the legal case told TradeWinds the payment represents principal and interest on the bunkerer's claim.

The Eletson official said the payment was not related to the arrest.

"The payment reflected the settlement of an off-spec bunker dispute," he said.