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The expected date of arrival of a vessel suspected to be carrying Kenya military arms was still unknown by Monday.
The expected date of arrival of a vessel suspected to be carrying Kenya military arms was still unknown by Monday.

The vessel’s shipping agent remains unknown and no details about the vessel have been submitted to Kenya Ports Authority, an officer at KPA lighthouse, who cannot be disclosed due to the sensitivity of the matter, said.

The port of Mombasa lighthouse could also not trace the location of the ship.

Normally, the shipping agents are supposed to give details about the ship and expected date of arrival 14 days before it docks at port, said the officer.

The vessel, Maersk Costellation, was detained at the port of Lobito after Angolan authorities questioned part of its cargo. It was later released on March 3 and the voyage from Angola, according to maritime experts, is supposed to take eight days.

“We do not expect this vessel to arrive at the Mombasa port any time soon, as we are yet to receive its details from the ship’s agent,” the officer said, adding that there was no single vessel that could call at the port without the required information.

Maersk Line Ltd spokesperson Kevin Speers last week declined to disclose when the vessel will be expected at the port of Mombasa or whether there were other ports it was supposed to call before it arrived in Mombasa.

Other sources claimed the ship’s four containers may have been offloaded in another port and brought to Mombasa as trans-shipment cargo.

According to Angola media reports, the ship’s manifest stated it was carrying soy for a South African organisation operating in Benguela, a city in western Angola, but the soy in four of the containers covered a cache of guns, ammunition and rockets, said to belong to the Kenya military.

The managing director of Maersk in Kenya, Mr Rolf Nielsen, said the ship belongs to a sister company in US and they did not have any details about it.

However, a source at KPA alleged the vessel has in the past called at the port of Mombasa with Maersk Kenya acting as its agent.

According to Mr Speers, the four containers were not concealed.

The ship was in Angola for 12 days, he said, unloading food aid cargo before Angolan authorities raised discrepancies with the documentation.