Undeclared weapons in UN shipment cause of detention of Höegh Transporter
Höegh Transporter has finally been released from detention in Mombasa, Kenya, and has continued her ocean voyage to South Africa, West Africa and Mexico, having suffered a delay of more than a week. No crew have been arrested, no drugs found on board but a consignment of undeclared United Nations weapons has been found.
On arrival in Mombasa on 17 September, the ship was boarded by Kenyan authorities in search of weapons and drugs. After a short search, a consignment of handguns shipped by the United Nations from Mumbai, India, to Mombasa, in transit for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was found. The vehicles had originally been loaded by Indian military personnel.
It is Höegh Autoliners` policy not to load weapons on vessels engaged in civilian traffic. Had we been aware of the presence of guns inside this consignment of vehicles shipped by United Nations, the cargo would neither have been booked nor loaded. The fact that the vehicles contained guns which were loaded without our knowledge caused a breach of Kenyan laws and our own strict policies. It is highly regrettable that a grave mistake on the part of the shipper has caused major difficulties and delays for other customers, the crew and ship.
A search for drugs yielded no results involving vessel or crew.
The cooperation with the local authorities has been good, and their reaction understandable given the seriousness of the issue.
We can only regret that certain media has added to the tension by publishing inaccurate and wildly speculative stories.