Press Center | Freight Shipping Logistics News
Diamond Trust Bank Kenya was ordered not to release Sh8,168,880 ($102,111) to three Singapore registered companies, after the client, Abson Motors, claimed the money was being demanded to abet the crime of piracy.
Abson Motors, among other importers, had imported cargo from Singapore, but the ship contracted to deliver the consignment was allegedly hijacked by pirates and its owners, Pacific International Lines PTE Ltd, were compelled to pay a ransom of Sh240 million ($3.3 million) to secure the release of the vessel, her cargo and crew.
Other expenses that came with the payment of ransom were negotiators’ and lawyers’ fees.
The importer, through the firm of Kinyua Muyaa, is now under duress to agree to have the funds referred to as ‘general average’ released to Habib Bank in Singapore, after which they will be remitted to Marine Claims office of Asia, which negotiated with the pirates.
However, the importer says it was not informed of the alleged seizure of mv Kota Wajar, and only came to learn about the incident in January after it had been released.
For that reason, Mombasa judge Jackton Ojwang’ was told that it would be inappropriate to compel the importer to pay the cash to third parties since it has not been established that the Sh240 million was paid to the pirates.
Further, piracy is an offence both under the Kenyan Merchant Shipping Act and the Singapore Penal code.
It is also an offence under the 1988 Rome Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the safety of Maritime Navigation, to which Kenya is a signatory. The case will be mentioned on December 7, 2010.
PARASTATAL heads who signed the Mombasa port community charter risk being sacked if their agencies do not deliver on the contents of the new entity. The charter signed between the government and the private sector aims at improving the movement of cargo from the port into hinterland