MOMBASA (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Navy officers on Thursday arrested 10
foreigners and seized a ship suspected to be linked with drugs
and other illegal trade within the Indian Ocean in Mombasa.
Mombasa acting Police Commander Sevelino Kubai confirmed that
they are interrogating an Iranian, seven Pakistani and two
Indian crew members arrested.
"We had information that the two ships from Pakistan
which had entered Somalia some days back were now sailing
towards Mombasa and managed to intercept one of them.
"The other one remains at large," Kubai told journalists
The ship MV Alnoor was seized by a navy patrol
ship within Kenya territorial waters in the deep sea in Lamu.
Kubai said the ship was among the two cargo vessels that were
being monitored by security agencies.
He said Kenya authorities had information about the
suspicious ship suspected to use to smuggle illegal goods
including firearms and hard drugs.
The vessel was escorted by Navy to Mombasa Port where it
was handed over to police officers from CID and
anti-narcotics and anti-terrorism unit.
Senior police officers and Navy commanders inspected the
vessel that remained heavily guarded at Mtongwe military
base within the port of Mombasa
The officers cordoned off the area and used sniffer dogs
to search for clues about the contents in the Zanzibar
Kubai said documentation indicates that the vessel was
en-route to Zanzibar.
He said further scrutiny of the manifest revealed that indeed
the goods were loaded in the coastal city.
Kubai said the ship is loaded with 300 metric tonnes of
cement which, according to the crew, originated from Yemen.
"We are currently off-loading the consignment for further
verification," the police chief said.
Mombasa Head of Marine Unit Stanley Lamai confirmed they
are holding ten crew members for further grilling.
Reliable sources indicate the ship could be among the vessels
linked with international drugs trafficking and arm trafficking
in the coastal region.
The source further said the ship could be owned by
Pakistan nationals linked with narcotic drugs in the country
but enjoy immunity from security agencies.
The kingpins are believed to have smuggled 1,032
kilograms of heroin worth 310 million U.S. dollars that was
seized and destroyed off the Kenyan coast in May.
The Australian warship HMAS Darwin warship sent a
boarding party to the suspect vessel while on patrol and
impounded 46 sacks of heroin and destroyed it at sea.
The Australian Embassy in Nairobi said the boat was released
before the drug was destroyed.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has on several occasions
cited Kenya as a transit point for re-packaging and
transshipment of drugs to Europe and America.
International investigators have established that proceeds
from narcotic trade are used to finance global terrorist