On the 27th April 2012, a Sierra Leonean Flagged Ship named “MV LETFALLAH” IMO No. 7126114 was arrested in Lebanon with three containers of arms and ammunitions. The Sierra Leone International Ship Registry in Singapore was immediately contacted by the Administration and they confirmed that the vessel which had no Sierra Leonean crew had a six months Provisional Registration from January to July 2012.
Immediately steps were taken to dissociate the Sierra Leone Flag from such misdemeanor and on the 3rd of May 2012, the vessel was suspended from our registry, pending the outcome of an investigation.
The owner of the vessel KHAFAJI Maritime Co. who claimed to have no knowledge of the contents onboard his vessel has secured the release of the Master and Crew from detention.
The Sierra Leone Maritime Administration is notifying the general public that the issue of flagging a ship not owned and crew by your nationals (open registry) is not new in the maritime domain and this phenomenon has existed since the 1920’s.
SLMA wishes to assure the general public that measures are now being put in place to ensure a quality registry devoid of rogue owners.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.