by STAFF WRITER
January 21, 2022
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jan 21, CMC – Guyana authorities have launched an investigation into the seizure of a quantity of ammunition on board a Guyana-flagged vessel in Dakar, Senegal with the police here saying that they have alerted the Lyon-based International Police (INTERPOL) on the matter.
“The vessel in question is not contained in the local ships’ registry and it is believed that registration documents were issued by International Maritime Safety Agency of Guyana (IMSAG), an entity with which the administration had severed all ties since 13th August, 2021,” the Maritime Administration (MARAD) of Guyana said in a statement.
The general cargo ship, EOLIKA, arrived at Dakar, Senegal, from La Spezia Italy via Las Palmas on December 19, last year, reportedly for the purpose of bunkering.
But port authorities found detainable deficiencies, the ship was detained. Later, in January, Customs found cargo documents to be suspicious, the ship was searched and in three containers ammunition was found, understood undeclared or wrongly declared.
The ship and 4 crew have been arrested including the captain, all of them of Ukrainian nationality.
The authorities here want INTERPOL to assist with the questioning of the senior officials of IMSAG that is involved in the registration of motor vessels.
Earlier this week, media reports said that ammunition estimated at five million US dollars had been discovered on board the MV EOLIKA bearing the Guyana flag.
The statement by MARAD comes after a number of vessel-tracking systems show that the MV Eolika was due to arrive in Guyana from Dakar, Senegal on January 28, after passing through the Caribbean.
MARAD said it has since notified all regional, and international bodies and organizations of the effective termination of all arrangements with IMSAG, and advised of the veracity of registration certificates issued to vessels by IMSAG.
“As a result, several vessels have been detained in various ports for false registration documents. MARAD assures that it will continue to actively monitor this incident, and will spare no effort in protecting the image of the Guyana flag,” the statement added.