Senegal’s customs agency has seized ammunition in capital Dakar that had been placed in three containers on a Guyana-flagged cargo vessel as part of an arms haul which is estimated to be worth $5 million. The agency has said that it searched the ship, Eolika, which had stopped to refuel, over making ‘inconsistent declarations,’ according to a statement reviewed by the news agency AFP.
The customs agents found three containers of weapons on board the Eolika, a haul which is thought to be worth $5.2 million, the statement said. The statement did not specify when the operation was conducted.
The ship’s crew members were Ukrainian, local media reported, and have been questioned. A Senegalese customs agency spokesperson did not confirm the reports.
Ibrahima Camara, who heads the agency’s maritime division, said in a video that it was unable to trace from where the weapons had come. The containers, as seen in the video, were marked with an Italian-language spelling of Dominican Republic, a country in the West Indies.
Vesselfinder, an online tool, shows that the Eolika had made stops in northern Italy and the Canary Islands on its way to Dakar.
Drug hauls are more common in ships in the Senegalese capital city which remains an important hub for trade on the Atlantic Ocean; arms hauls are comparatively rarer.
In June last year, the country’s navy had seized 8 tons of cannabis from a vessel off the coast.