By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 1 October 2016:
The Omar Mukhtar Operations Room, part of the Libyan National Army (LNA), says it intercepted a container ship, the Panama-flagged Viya, and forced it to dock at Tobruk for inspection. The operations room claimed that the vessel was heading to Turkey and suggested that it was carrying suspect cargo having first loaded at Khoms and Misrata.
In fact, the ship was found to contain nothing more dangerous than scrap iron – although this is reported to be one of a number of items whose export was banned by eastern military governor Major-General Abdul Razzaq Al-Nazhuri last month
For their part, the ship’s managers, Istanbul-based Akar Shipping, have told the Libya Herald that the ship was heading to Tobruk from Khoms in the first place to discharge some cargoes and load others, that it was not seized and that all that happened was customs officials in Tobruk made a routine inspection after it docked.
Shipping website marinetraffic.com confirmed that the Viya’s destination was Tobruk.
The LNA is known to be nervous about vessels arriving in eastern waters from the west of the country.