UN claims ownership of weapons in intercepted ship in Mombasa
The United Nations has claimed ownership of weapons recovered in a ship that was intercepted at the Mombasa Port last week.
UN on Thursday said that the weapons recovered in MV Hoegh, the ship that was held at the port of Mombasa over suspected content, are legitimately acquired.
Confirming the recovery of the cache of weapons, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett said police also recovered substance suspected to be drugs.
The UN also expressed its disappointment that the Kenyan authority went ahead to search the vessel without involving the humanitarian body.
For the last eight days, MV Hoegh transporter has been held at Birth 13 after Kenyan security personnel were tipped of its contents as it docked at the Kilindini harbour.
According to a statement sent to newsrooms late Thursday from the United Nations Information Center, the arms are legitimately owned.
“The weapons found in the shipment by the Kenyan authorities were part of a legitimate and declared contingent owner Equipment cargo packed in Mumbai, India with destination the Indian Battalion of MONUSCO, DRC,” read the UN statement in part.
UN, however, admits: “The weapons were declared in the bill of lading but not in the manifest.”
The weapons were recovered inside the UN amoured carriers and according to the statement, “it is normal practice for weapons attached to the APC’s to be dismantled and placed inside the carriers in order to avoid damage whilst being shipped.”
However, according to Boinett, the inter agency security team not only managed to recover a cache of weapons but also recovered substance believed to be drugs.
The UN has further registered disappointment by the move of Kenyan government to inspect the cargo’s content in absence of its officials.
“It is unfortunate that the Kenyan authorities inspected the cargo without a UN presence which runs contrary to established protocol and provisions surrounding privileges and immunities.”
The international body, however, said it was astonished by the claims that drugs were recovered from the cargo.
“We are also aware of the disturbing allegations that drugs were also found on the vessel. This is currently being investigated by the responsible authorities.”
This comes as 20 crew members of the Norwegian owned vessel who are currently being detained in Mombasa failed to be arraigned in court on Thursday with charges of arms trafficking.