Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 13, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • Mozambique patrol boat arrests ship used for smuggling humans

  • Tanzanian PM threatens to shut down Tanga’s oil imports

  • African rail conference looks for new networks

  • Threat to Queen Elizabeth 2 in Alexandria harbour

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    Mozambique patrol boat arrests ship used for smuggling humans

    Maputo 12 April: Mozambique authorities have seized a Madagascan-registered ship named Karibu which was used to smuggle 67 illegal Bangladeshi immigrants into the northern region of Mozambique.

    According to police the immigrants were dropped off along a section of coast near the northern port of Nacala. However authorities were alerted of their arrival almost immediately and effected arrests of all 67. Later the ship was also arrested by a Mozambique patrol boat and escorted to Nacala where it has been detained.

    The crew on board the Karibu are all Madagascan nationals and the vessel, which has been described as unfit for carrying passengers, is thought to be used regularly for illegal human trafficking.

    The Maputo daily newspaper Noticias reports that an Asian man was arrested on Monday in the northern capital city of Nampula on suspicion of being involved with the human smuggling syndicate as a middleman. It said that police suspect an international syndicate is involved.

    Tanzanian PM threatens to shut down Tanga’s oil imports

    The Tanzanian port of Tanga may be prevented from handling oil products in future unless stringent measures are introduced to prevent smuggling and tax evasion.

    Kenya’s East African newspaper reports that the Tanzanian government fears it is losing millions in lost revenue due to the port’s lack of flow meters used for recording the amount of oil pumped ashore. As a result a considerable under-invoicing is taking place.

    Tanzania’s Prime Minister Edward Lowassa announced a possible ban on oil imports to Tanga as from July unless the port authority takes action to install flow meters. He said he had information that billions of shillings in government revenue was not collected as a result of oil products at the port not being taxed. He called on the Tanzanian Revenue Authority and the port manager to look into the matter and clarify steps to overcome the problem.

    The report said that if a ban was imposed it would affect private oil dealers who had invested heavily in installations such as with Gulf Bulk Petroleum and Tanganyika Investment Oil & Transport Company for the transportation of oil to Tanga from Dar es Salaam. Operators of coastal tankers transporting oil from Dar es Salaam and other ports would also be affected by the ban.

    Tanzanian Ports Authority acting director general Peter Mtandu said in response that the TPA would shortly invite tenders for the installation of meters at Tanga.

    - source The East African

    African rail conference looks for new networks

    A conference is being held this week in Brazzaville (Congo) to examine a more efficient railway network that can assist the development of the African continent. Attended by railway officials from across Africa, the conference is a combined effort to examine the needs of railway infrastructure and to define a continental-scale plan aimed developing railways throughout the continent.

    The Congo meeting comes almost a decade after a similar meeting on railways took place in the same city, Brazzaville, in 1998. Since that time, there has little attempt at modernising the railway networks of Africa, with the exception of a few countries such as Namibia.

    Angola’s transport minister Andre Luis Brandao said the meeting will aim at defining a continental action plan to implement policies and strategies aimed at developing railway networks in Africa and restructuring the institutional framework of the Union of African Railways.

    More than 200 delegates from across the continent are attending in addition to officials from the World Bank, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and the European Union.

    In a press statement the AU said that many of the speakers at the opening ceremony spoke of the advantages of railway transportation over other means, such as that railways constitute the most suitable means of transport for moving large volumes over long distances, and that they are particularly suitable for transporting goods to or from landlocked countries in Africa.

    “As a result they also open up the hinterland and lead to its development."

    However, the AU also noted that “very few new railway lines have been constructed on the continent since independence."

    Threat to Queen Elizabeth 2 in Alexandria harbour

    Cunard’s popular cruise ship Queen Elizabeth 2, also known as QE2, was reported to be under close guard yesterday in Alexandria harbour after security fears for the ship.

    Despite her age QE2 remains one of the most prestigious ships afloat, which must add an added security label wherever the ship visits. Yesterday Cunard and the UK Department for Transport confirmed reports of a higher than usual security status having been imposed following threats for the ship’s safety during her visit to Egypt.

    A Cunard spokesman told the British Fairplay magazine that although he didn’t believe there was any cause for alarm, the ship had been placed on a higher than usual security level both during and after her northbound transit of the Suez Canal and that police guards had been posted on the shore and sea side of the vessel while in Alexandria port. While transiting the canal the ship also had a police patrol boat escort.

    QE2 is carrying about 1700 passengers on her current world cruise and is scheduled to sail for a Turkish destination as the next port of call.

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