Maputo — Mozambican authorities who seized the container ship “Kota Mawar” in the northern port of Pemba as it was about to depart with 161 twenty-foot containers full of unprocessed timber, have announced that they have made another discovery. In a parallel operation, the authorities found 29 containers on the docks belonging to Miti Lda, some of which contained ivory.
The authorities are still searching the port for more illegal exports. There are suspicions that elements in the port, including in the customs service, have been complicit in allowing illegal exports. This suspicion has been reinforced by the fact that it was the police who intervened to stop the ship leaving harbour after it had been given the green light from customs.
The operation to unload “Kota Mawar” was delayed by arguments over who was responsible for the cost of removing the containers of wood.
Meanwhile, the owner of Pemba port, the national port and rail company, CFM, is complaining that no other ships can dock at the port due to the size of “Kota Mawar”.
“The losses are enormous. No other ship can dock and we are on the fourth day of being idle, while costs continue to mount without any income. I am talking of the fixed costs of electricity, water and labour that are not doing anything” said the port’s Paulo Bento.
Bento went on to say that the final evaluation of losses can only take place after receiving the ships that are waiting for the space occupied by “Kota Mawar”.