Libya-Bound Ship Loaded with Explosive Materials Seized in Greek Waters
A Tanzanian-flagged cargo ship Andromeda has been seized by the Greek Coast Guard as an inspection had found that the vessel was carrying materials to Libya intended to make explosives.
The ship was underway near Crete, Greece on January 6 and had eight crew members, including two Ukrainians, five Indians and one Albanian national on board.
The ship was ordered to reroute to the port of Heraklion, Crete where its 29 containers and 11 LPG tanks were thoroughly inspected.
According to the ship’s bills of lading, the containers on board were loaded in Mersin, Turkey, while the LPG tanks were loaded in Turkish Iskenderum port, the destination being Djibouti, Oman.
After the entire cargo was unloaded it was established that the containers were loaded with ammonium nitrate, detonators and other explosive materials while the LPG tanks were empty.
The inspection of the ship also found that there were numerous safety breaches on board the vessel, endangering both the crew and the vessel’s cargo.
Further investigation has determined that the master of the ship has been instructed by the owner of the vessel to sail to Misrata, Libya to deliver the entire cargo, the coast guard said.
The European Union and the United Nations have imposed sanctions in 2011 prohibiting the sale, export or transfer of arms to Libya.
The coast guard added that there were no maps on the ship’s log showing Oman or Djibouti areas.
The crew of the ship has been arrested and are expected to appear before the public prosecutor of Piraeus. The cargo and the ship have been seized.
World Maritime News Staff