Kenya frees ship after UN weapons row

A Norwegian ship detained in Kenya’s Mombasa port for more than a week on suspicion of carrying drugs and illegal weapons has been released.

The UN says the arms were part of legitimate consignment for its mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Drugs tests carried out on a substance found around some of the UN vehicles were negative, the police said.

The vehicles were allowed to be reloaded on board before the ship left, but the police have retained the arms.

The rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, which were among the weapons found inside the UN vehicles, would be delivered under Kenyan escort to Indian peacekeepers in DR Congo, Mombasa County police commander Francis Wanjohi said.

He said it would be too dangerous for the MV Hoegh Transporter to continue its journey if it was common knowledge there were weapons aboard, because of the threat of piracy.

The ship had been sailing from Mumbai in India, but its final destination is unknown.

The BBC’s Ferdinand Omondi in Mombasa says the dramatic midnight raid on the vessel after it had docked on Thursday night involved several elite Kenya police units, including the narcotics squad and the criminal investigation department. –BBC

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