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Booze cruise claim wins defunct ferry operator £2m

Contributed by editor on Jan 20, 2006 - 07:06 PM


BOOZE CRUISE CLAIM WINS DEFUNCT FERRY OPERATOR £2M

A ferry company which pulled out of Dover in November 2005 after the parent company Sea Containers said it was no longer able to support it's losses o­n the English Channel has won a large payout from Revenue and Customs.

They agreed to pay Hoverspeed almost £2m to settle a long-running legal dispute over its officers' alleged "heavy-handed" searches of booze cruise customers.

The cross-Channel operator originally filed a claim for £50m damages in 2004, arguing that over-zealous searches were putting off day trippers and hitting its profits.

Customs said yesterday that it had agreed to pay Sea Containers, Hoverspeed's parent firm, £950,000 plus £850,000 "reasonable costs", adding that the payments were not an admission of liability.