By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 11 February 2016:
There are unconfirmed reports that the Libyan navy has intercepted two foreign vessels from Misrata . . .[restrict]off the coast near Derna with 25 people aboard.
One of the unnamed ships was flagged in Zanzibar and carried 13 Turkish and Syrian nationals but no cargo. Its papers apparently showed it was en route from Misrata to Greece. The second vessel, which is Turkish-flagged, had a dozen people aboard with a cargo of iron from Misrata destined for Egypt.
No details of the interceptions were given in a report carried by Alwasat, which said the arrests had taken place off Ras Hilal within Libyan territorial waters.
Just under a month ago, in the same waters, the navy intercepted a Panamanian cargo ship the Abella aboard which it was claimed were 14 terrorist suspects on their way to reinforce IS forces outside of Derna. The navy has never provided any further details of that incident and there appear to be no records of a vessel named Abella.
Publicly available ship tracking from sites such as marinetraffic.com is no longer available for any part of the Libyan coast save around the port of Misrata. Eastern Libya with the key oil export terminals has had no coverage for over two years. Information on Khoms and Tripoli stopped last summer.
This newspaper has been told by marinetraffic.com that coverage has ceased because of the failure of all but one of Libya’s shore-based stations. It has also been pointed out that, in any event, vessels wishing to conceal their movements can switch off their Automatic Identification System. [/restrict]