Dakar – 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, Senegal’s customs agency said it had searched a ship named the Eolika that stopped to refuel, after it had made “inconsistent declarations”.
Customs agents in the West African country found three containers of ammunition aboard the Eolika, worth the equivalent of an estimated $5.2 million, the statement said.
The agency did not mention when the operation occurred.
The crew members were Ukranian according to local media and were being 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.
Specialised website Vesselfinder showed that the 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 tonnes of cannabis from a ship off the coast.
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