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Two Foreign Vessels With Chinese, Indian Crew Impounded At The Indian Ocean In Mombasa

A file photo of Indian Ocean at Likoni. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The government’s newly established Kenya Coast Guard Service [KCGS] in conjunction with other government agencies has impounded two foreign vessels in the Kenyan waters through their patrol vessel.

KCGS Commander Glenn Majanga, who was leading a team to board and inspect the vessels, said the 20 crew members on board of the foreign vessels are likely to be taken to court to face charges of breach of law.

He said members of crew comprised of 13 Chinese nationals and seven Indian nationals who were nabbed inside the impounded vessels.

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“Kenya Maritime Authority [KMA] which is a government regulatory body has taken a lead in the inspection of the two vessels,” he pointed out.

The two vessels were flying Chinese flags with their last port of call  being unknown. Their first port of call was at Kilindini as the vessel was stopped as it was heading to Malindi.

He was speaking during a press conference held at the port of Mombasa in Mombasa county while boarding and inspecting the two intercepted vessels.

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The KCGS Commander called for patience as the inspection exercise of the two vessels will take a longer.

Majanga said their concern is why the vessels which were supposed to call at the port of Mombasa decided to head for Malindi instead.

He assured that they will scrutinise the documents of each of the crew members to see whether they adhere to internationally required seafarers’ regulations.       

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“We suspect the crew members lack proper documents and unfortunately we are faced with the challenge of communicating with them in English,” he pointed out.    

The KCGS officer said the initial report at their disposal indicates that local immigration and customs had instructed them to sail to the port of Mombasa for clearance since they were treated as first imports.

Majanga added the vessels being the first imports can only be cleared at the port of Mombasa and not at any other port in the coastal region.  

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He told journalists they received a report that the two vessels namely Harong 109 with 11 crew members and Harong 108 with nine crew members were intercepted off Malindi within Ungama Bay for boarding inspection at the port of Mombasa.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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