Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
23 Aug 2018
3:13 pm

Alleged weapons of mass destruction seized in Nelson Mandela Bay

Citizen Reporter

The cargo is said to be worth an estimated R50 million.

A handout picture taken in the search and rescue zone in the Mediterranean sea on June 9, 2018 and released on June 11, 2018 by SOS Mediterranee NGO shows the French NGO's ship Aquarius during an operation to rescue migrants. The EU on June 11, 2018 called on Italy and Malta to reach a "swift resolution" to allow the Aquarius, a search and rescue ship run in partnership between "SOS Mediterranee" and Doctors without borders (MSF), carrying hundreds of migrants to dock, saying it was a "humanitarian imperative". Some 629 people, including pregnant women and scores of children, were saved by SOS Mediterranean on JUne 9 and are stuck aboard the French NGO's ship Aquarius, which is currently between Malta and Sicily waiting for a secure port. / AFP PHOTO / SOS MEDITERRANEE / Karpov / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / KARPOV / SOS MEDITERRANEE" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

A Russian cargo vessel alleged to be illegally carrying explosives, and weapons of mass destruction, has been detained and ordered to anchor in Algoa Bay, 15km off the Nelson Mandela Bay coastline, Herald Live has reported.

It was reported that authorities confirmed that the cargo on board the ship is dangerous, however, it remains unknown what the final destination for the explosives is.

The Hawks are now handling the matter but the unit refused to comment, but police have opened an investigation into the alleged contravention of regulations under the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Act as well as the Explosives Act.

The weapons were seized on Sunday at the Port of Ngqura when the Russian ship was offloading containers which had the right permits, according to the newspaper.

On board the ship, 20 other allegedly illegal containers were found. The publication reports that a tip-off led to the bust which followed an investigation by the Port Elizabeth Explosives Unit.

An official who spoke on condition of anonymity it was believed that some of the illegal explosives were headed for Nigeria and others for the United States.

The weapons seized are reportedly worth an estimated R50m.

The manager of the port, Tandi Lebakeng, confirmed to Herald Live that the Russian vessel had been placed under arrest and that port officials know about the alleged weapons of mass destruction on board the ship.

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