Kenyan stowaway held, hunt on for another
Posted by Administrator on March 8, 2012
With the Special Branch and local police on the lookout for him since last November, an alleged Kenyan stowaway — who went missing from a vessel that had docked in the city — was finally arrested by the Yellow Gate police in the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) area on March 3.
The police are still trying to trace the location of an alleged Sudanese stowaway, who had also travelled to the city on the same vessel, and jumped ship with him. Police said the vessel from which the two stowaways escaped had embarked from Mombasa in Kenya and had stopped in Oman and Pakistan on its way to Mumbai.
The accused has been identified as Kefa Mwaura N’ganga alias Domminick Esokson (30), police said. The police are on the lookout for Peter Apul (20). “Investigations have revealed that on October 5 last year, Esokson and Apul got aboard the vessel Sea Lion unnoticed by its crew of 12 Russians while the ship was docked in Mombasa. They did not have valid papers. When the Sea Lion had sailed to a distance of around 300 nautical miles from Mombasa, the two were spotted by the Russian captain of the ship, Stauykov Afanasy, on October 7,” said an officer, who did not wish to be named. Esokson and Apul allegedly told the captain of the vessel that their plan had been to travel to Europe or the US in search of employment. Afanasy then informed the owner of the vessel, said the police.
“The Sea Lion also stopped in Sohar and Karachi and the captain brought the two stowaways to the notice of port and immigration authorities there. However, he was forbidden to allow them to step onto Omani or Pakistani soil,” said the officer.
On November 3 last year, the Sea Lion docked at an anchorage in MbPT to take on some cargo. The Mumbai Police’s Special Branch learnt of Esokson and Apul on a routine inspection and told the crew not to let them get off the ship.
“Two days later, the duo went missing from the vessel. The police were told that they were last seen around 6 pm when they were given food and had escaped from a window in their room shortly afterwards. Afanasy was arrested on November 11 for negligence and was released on bail subsequently,” said the officer.
Esokson was finally spotted loitering near the MbPT area on Saturday. The police are now probing his activities during the period he was missing and are grilling him for leads on Apul’s whereabouts.
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