Kenyan authorities have now released a car-carrying vessel operated by Höegh Autoliners after a consignment of undeclared handguns was found inside a number of military vehicles being shipped for the United Nations (UN).
The Höegh Transporter was detained for a week by the authorities when it called at the port of Mombasa on September 17th. A search revealed handguns shipped by the UN from Mumbai, India, to Mombasa, in transit for the UN’s peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They had not been declared in the cargo manifest. The vehicles had originally been loaded by Indian military personnel according to Höegh.
“It is Höegh Autoliners` policy not to load weapons on vessels engaged in civilian traffic,” said the company in a statement. “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.”
The vessel, which has capacity for 6,500 car equivalent units (CEUs), is now back on route to South Africa before making further calls in West Africa and Mexico.