GUYANA: US$5M worth of ammo found on ship with Guyana flag in Dakar, Senegal

Some of the ammunition seized at Dakar

Jan 21, 2022 – Kaieteur News – Senegal has seized three containers of ammunition from a Guyana-flagged cargo ship in the port of the capital Dakar, in a rare arms haul worth an estimated $5 million.

In a statement seen by AFP on Tuesday January 18, Senegal’s customs agency said it had searched a ship named the MV Eolika that stopped to refuel, after it had made “inconsistent declarations.”

Senegal seizes three containers of ammunition from a Guyana-flagged cargo ship in the port of the capital Dakar, in a rare arms haul worth an estimated $5 million. (Senegalese Customs/Handout/AFP)       

Customs agents in the West African country found three containers of ammunition aboard the MV Eolika, worth the equivalence of an estimated $5.2 million, the statement said.
The agency did not mention when the operation occurred. The crew members were Ukrainian according to local media and were questioned. A Senegal’s customs agency spokesman would not confirm the reports. Lieutenant-Colonel Ibrahima Camara, head of the maritime division of Senegalese customs, said in a video provided to AFP that the agency was unable to track where the ammunition containers had come from.

The video showed the containers were labelled “Repubblica Dominicana,” the Italian-language spelling of the Dominican Republic, a Caribbean nation. Specialized website Vesselfinder showed that the MV Eolika had stopped in northern Italy and Spain’s Canary Islands en route to Dakar.
Drugs are periodically found on vessels anchoring in the port of Dakar, an important trading hub on the Atlantic Ocean. However, arms hauls are rare. In June 2021, Senegal’s navy seized eight tons of cannabis from a ship off the coast.


Police seek international help in probe of ‘Guyana-flagged’ arms-laden ship

Posted by: Denis Chabrol – Demerara Waves – 21 January 2022.

Guyanese police say that they have launched a probe into the seizure of the ammunition aboard the purportedly Guyana-flagged vessel in Dakar, Senegal.

Police say they are working with Regional and International Law Enforcement agencies and has alerted the INTERPOL General Secretariat.

Guyanese police say they want INTERPOL to assist with the questioning of one Suneil Kumar, CEO of International Maritime Safety Agency of Guyana (IMSAG), that is involved in the registration of motor vessels.

After news surfaced that US$5 million worth of ammunition was found aboard the  MV  EOLIKA and that it was bearing the Guyana flag, the Maritime Administration (MARAD)  of Guyana has already said that it cut all ties with (IMSAG) last year.

“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,” MARAD said in a statement late Thursday night.

MARAD made  known its position after 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 maritime regulator said.

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