Two Tanzanians suspected to be stowaways were arrested Wednesday at the port of Mombasa on board a bulk carrier.
The two, aged 56 and 39 years, were disembarked on Wednesday evening after they were found hiding at the container section in the Ex Mv Lofty Mountain which arrived in Mombasa on September 26.
According to a letter from Mark Mboloi, the ship’s local agent Inchape Shipping Services representative, the vessel sailed from Port of Dar es Salaam but the two were found while the vessel docked at berth 11 in Mombasa.
“We write to report the above mentioned matter seeking permission to disembark and repatriate two stowaways, who were reportedly found on board the caption vessel on 28 September 2022 while the vessel was alongside Mombasa port berth 11, having sailed from Dar es Salaam Tanzania,” read part of the letter by shipping agent to department of Immigration and to police.
Mr Mboloi said they received instructions from the third party liability Insurance (P&I club) with whom the owners of the vessel are entered as members, to assist the master and the local agents in the disembarkation and subsequent repatriation to their home country.
“We are in liaison with the Tanzanian consular representative in Mombasa to confirm their nationality. In collaboration with the local ships agents, we hereby undertake to bear all cost of landing, caring for, and ultimate repatriation of the said stowaway,” said Mr Mboloi.
The interception of the two comes few weeks after Salim Mwinyi Mananda was arrested in the MV Elreedy Star while attempting to sneak out of Kenya for the second time in the past three years.
Mr Mananda, 38, was apprehended on September 3 after he hid in the ship for about 16 hours. The vessel later sailed to India.
According to court documents, Mr Mananda was on the ship without the consent of its master and was fleeing Kenya for a better job opportunity in the Asian country.
“My intention was to travel to a foreign country to look for greener pastures,” he told the Mombasa court.
If found guilty in the ruling set for October 6, he will join tens of youth in prisons who have been arrested attempting to flee by boarding ships from the port of Mombasa in the previous years among them, Moes Ali.
Marine expert Andrew Mwangura said the number of stowaways boarding ships at the port of Mombasa is growing at an alarming rate.
“Kenya's youth unemployment rate stands at 65 percent, among the highest in the world, thus making young people to try to sneak out of the country in search of greener pasture,” he said.
The majority of stowaways are found on board bulk, container and general cargo vessels.
Car carriers are also over-represented in stowaway data compared to other vessel types.
Stowaway’s want to remain undetected so they’ll chose the places which are rarely inspected by the ship’s crew. They also come equipped with enough food and water to last them for the duration of the transit. They sometimes also bribe port workers or crew to gain access to the jetty.
In other instances, stowaways have accessed ships as stevedores or using faked supplier documentation before hiding in the ship containers. Others have been known to get inside shipping containers before they are loaded and create false walls within them to evade detection. These can stretch from side to side and from top to bottom. The false wall is then painted in colours that match the rear wall of the container. In other instances, others have opted to jump into the water before climbing up the stern part or rudder of the ship.