A search of a Norwegian-flagged car carrier at the Port of Mombasa, Kenya has reportedly turned up firearms and drugs hidden inside a few of the vehicles being transported by the ship.
Local reports on Monday said that the illegal contraband was discovered during a search of the ship Höegh Transporter and its cargo over the weekend. The contraband was discovered inside the tires of three ‘military’ vehicles and included dismantled weapons and drugs believed to be cocaine, the reports said.
The Höegh Transporter, a 6,500 ceu Pure Car/Truck Carrier (PCTC) belonging to Höegh Autoliners, was raided by Kenyan security forces on Friday after the ship docked in Mombasa, arriving from Mumbai, India.
An updated statement released by Höegh Autoliners on Tuesday said the Chinese crew of the ship is continuing to work closely with investigators as they continue with a thorough search of the vessel.
“We cannot speculate on the ongoing operation and cannot comment on rumors associated with the search,” Höegh Autoliners said.
The raid was carried out based on gathered intelligence indicating that the ship may have been carrying drugs and firearms.
“After berthing on 17 September 2015, the vessel was boarded by Kenyan authorities who requested to inspect the cargo to be discharged,” the Höegh Autoliners statement said. “Throughout this investigation our Chinese crew have remained on board, provided assistance and monitored the investigation.”
Kenyan authorities were expected to release full details of the contraband found after the search concluded.
In the past, Kenya has been known to blow up vessels used to smuggle drugs and weapons into the country.