More weapons found on Norwegian ship detained in Mombasa port

Some of the sophisticated Russian PK machine guns which are part of the items recovered on board the vehicle ship which is currently under arrest at the port of Mombasa, September 22, 2015. [PHOTO COURTESY/STANDARD

MOMBASA: Additional weapons have been found on the Norwegian ship detained under heavy guard at Mombasa port since last Thursday, according to reliable reports.

The latest discoveries are boxes of components that appear to be Russian or Eastern Europe manufactured PK Machine guns or General Purpose machine guns, but the inscriptions on the parts do not adequately disclose when the arms were manufactured or in which country.

On Monday, officials announced that nine US-made M16 rifles were among the 25 rifles or machine guns discovered among Tata trucks and troop carriers imported by the United Nations for India’s peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

KPA’s head of security Mohamed Morowa said the ship’s manifest did not disclose any weapons were on board.

Last evening, an official told The Standard that “the Russian-made weapons were found in a metal box stashed between two trucks”.

A source indicated a top official of the National Intelligence Service was allowed into the ship early Tuesday.

The latest discoveries have confounded investigators due to the apparent diverse origin of weapons from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and former Warsaw Pact nations found together on the ship. This has also fuelled speculation on where the guns were headed or if the vessel sailed into another port besides Mumbai where it is alleged to have docked before sailing to Mombasa.

The Standard established last evening that on Monday a medical team from the port was allowed on board the ship to inspect the condition of the captain and his crew.

Last evening, there were reports that the UN, Kenyan and US officials were investigating possible links between the cargo on the ship and the unexplained sudden death of a foreign anti-narcotics UN official whose body was found in a top hotel in Mombasa early this month. Shamus Mangan, 41, an Australian national, was killed on September 5, 2015.

Tuesday, Hoegh Autoliners published a statement on its website regarding the detention of its Hoegh Transporter vessel, saying the crew on board are Chinese.

“The crew of the Hoegh Transporter is continuing to work closely with investigators at the Port of Mombasa, Kenya, as they conduct a thorough search of the vessel,” said the statement.