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Liberty Navy ship repossessed in Ghana! Tall Ship @ Repo Price: $20 Million

Borrowers beware. If you miss a payment on your car loan, don't go parking it in Ghana thinking it's safe from repossession. Turns out, the long arm of the repo man reaches all the way to Africa.

That was news to Argentina, which got a shock earlier this month when authorities in the Ghanaian port of Tema seized the [tall] flagship of the Argentinean Navy -- the ship ARA Libertad. ...

Several years of negotiations with creditors resulted in most lenders agreeing to accept 30 cents on the dollar in a new bond issuance. But "most" isn't "all," and one hedge fund, NML Capital, still wants the payment on the $1.6 billion worth in bonds it bought at fire-sale prices post-default.

Now, it's taking action to get its money. NML sought and received court orders confirming its rights in both the U.K. and U.S., then applied to Ghana to enforce these judgments. Following international law, Ghanaian authorities dutifully impounded the Libertad when it arrived in Tema on a training mission earlier this month. The ship was crewed by some 300 Argentinean sailors who are now cooling their heels in port while everyone waits to see if Argentina will pay the $20 million NML wants to release the boat.

Top Brass Walking the Plank. ....

Argentine navy vessel ARA Libertad arrives at the harbor of the seaside resort of Mar del Plata January 9, 2013. The tall sailing ship used for training was detained in Ghana since October 2, 2012 at the request of a hedge fund seeking payment on defaulted government bonds. It was later released and left Ghana on December 19, 2012 for Mar del Plata following a ruling by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea that Ghana should release the ship after Argentina argued that a U.N. Convention on the law gives warships immunity from civil claims when they dock at foreign ports. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian (ARGENTINA - Tags: MILITARY MARITIME POLITICS BUSINESS TRANSPORT)