Saturday, September 19, 2015 9:49 am
Höegh Autoliners has confirmed that the vessel under investigation in the Kenyan port of Mombasa is its Höegh Transporter, a Pure Car/Truck Carrier.
A statement from Höegh Autoliners said the Höegh Transporter berthed in Mombasa, Kenya Thursday 17 September in the afternoon for a regular discharge operation.
“The vessel came from Mumbai, India. After berthing, the vessel was boarded by Kenyan authorities, who requested to inspect the cargo to be discharged in Mombasa.
“The vessel’s crew, our local agent in Kenya and Höegh Autoliners’ local African operations team are cooperating fully with Kenyan authorities.
“We at this point do not know when the inspection will be completed and the vessel cleared to sail.
Kenyan police raided the ship on Friday, on suspicion that it carried drugs and firearms, officials said.
East Africa has become a key export route for Afghan heroin destined for Europe. Regional maritime forces, short of funds and anti-trafficking expertise, have struggled to stem the flow of drugs through their territorial waters.
Kenyan soldiers and security personnel cordoned off the entire port for hours before seizing the ship, paralyzing East Africa’s biggest port, which serves as the main gateway for imports and exports in the region.
“Based on intelligence gathered, the ship is suspected to be carrying fire arms and drugs, but we shall confirm that once the inspection is done,” said Francis Wanjohi, the Kenyan coastal region’s police commander.