A Russian cargo vessel alleged to be illegally carrying explosive devices considered to be possible weapons of mass destruction has been intercepted by the South African authorities.
A Russian cargo vessel heading to Lagos with 'weapons of mass destruction' has been intercepted in South Africa
The ship was said to have passed through India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania ports from Russia before authorities intercepted it at the South African port.
According to FleetMon, a vessel position tracking platform, the ship, LADA, was intercepted on August 19, 2018, after a security check off Elizabeth Port in South Africa.
The website reported that the inspection of the ship was carried out after an anonymous tip-off.
According to reports, it was headed for Lagos, Nigeria and the United States.
Weapons found on the vessel
- There are 34 containers with arms and explosives on board
- 14 destined for South Africa, to be offloaded at Elizabeth Port (Reports say the South African containers are legal, with all required permits)
- The other 20 are to be transported to Lagos, Nigeria, and to the US
South African newspapers point a torchlight on the story
The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) confirmed the arrest of the vessel to News24 on Thursday.
The Herald also put the cost of the explosions and "weapons of mass destruction" at a value of about R50 million (about $3.4 million)
Smuggling of illegal ammunitions at Nigerian ports
Nigerian ports are always at the receiving end of a large cache of arms being smuggled in the country.
In 2017 alone, over 2,000 arms were seized at various ports and a large of cache of ammunition was intercepted in two separate operations carried out between July 9 and 10, 2018, in Lagos.
Maritime experts and stakeholders continued to call on the government to provide standard technological equipment and implement global conventions to better guard the country's seaports.
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