A $1.2bn fine was imposed against two companies that operated a cargo ship carrying Australian-made containers that was missing on the flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean.
The company was ordered to pay $12.9m ($9.6m per container) and another $1m ($1.6) in damages by the Federal Court in the South Australian capital of Adelaide on Wednesday.
The two companies, Panamanian-based Para Pacific and Malaysia-based Kompas Cargo Ship, both operated a container ship called the “Palletized Cargo Ship” in the Red Sea.
The “Pallete”, as it was known in the Australian shipping industry, had a capacity of up to 4,000 containers.
The ship was carrying a total of 12,000 tonnes of containers.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board, with 239 on board including all 239 people aboard.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has said that the crew of the “Palo Alto” had asked the cargo ship captain to divert to a port in Sri Lanka because the area had a low passenger traffic.
The Malaysian authorities said that all the containers were safely returned to their owner and the company has since shut down.
In a statement to the ABC, Panamax said: “The Para-Pacific Cargo Ship was on its way from Port Darwin to Port Mahon in Indonesia when it lost contact with the captain.
The “Paleo” cargo ship company also said that it would pay the fine, but would not disclose the amount. “
Pan Am Cargo services has made an immediate financial recovery from the fine imposed by the Court of Appeal.”
The “Paleo” cargo ship company also said that it would pay the fine, but would not disclose the amount.
The Federal Court heard the case on Wednesday and it is expected to rule by the end of the week.
It is also expected to award penalties of up a total amount of $1,064m to Panamak and Kompass.
Panamac said in a statement that it “rejected all allegations of improper conduct”.
The Federal Government said that a further $2.4m was to be paid by Panamas owner, the Australian Ports Authority, as a “pension”.
The case is expected have a monetary impact on the Australian economy, but the ABC understands that the fines will have a limited impact on Australia’s trade with Australia.
In the meantime, the Federal Government is also considering a ban on cargo shipping to the region and a ban in Australia’s overseas markets from the region.
“We know there are people on both sides of the border who are looking at this as an opportunity to make a profit,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
“The Government will take all steps necessary to ensure that the safety and welfare of our citizens are protected in the future.”
Ms Bishop said she was hopeful that the investigation into the missing flight would help to solve the mystery of what happened to the ship.
“There is no doubt that the case of the missing container ship is complex and has had a significant impact on international travel in the region,” she said.
The ABC has contacted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) for comment.