MONROVIA-The man who ordered the locally made vessel, NIKO IVANKA that sailed from Monrovia as early as 6:am on July 17, to the port city of Harper, has been arrested and suspended for authorizing the vessel to sail.
The vessel was declared non sea worthy due to some technical issues. Moreover, it was not licensed as passenger vessel, but cargo. After it was permitted to sail as Cargo vessel for some time, the authorities of the National Port Authority and the Liberia Maritime Authority-LMA placed a stay order on it. But it was realized that someone released the permit to sail. This led to the vessel sinking which led to the death of over eight persons.
The Superintendent of the Freeport of Monrovia, Mr. George D. MCcay has been suspended and forwarded him to the Ministry of Justice for Prosecution.
Mr. MCCay’s suspension comes in the wake of his alleged authorization of the Niko Ivanka vessel that sunk in mid-July of this year leaving several persons onboard dead.
The disclosure was made on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 by Malcom Scott, Communication Director of the National Port Authority-NPA.
It can be recalled that the vessel sent distress call by 3:51 pm on that day of its departure, to the Liberia Authority from the Coast Guard and other marine related institutions that the vessel was sinking.
At the time, the LMA boss, Lenn Eugene Nagbe and NPA head, Bill Twehway told a joint press conference that there were over 27 persons on the vessel and they were concerned about rescuing them. But later, there was no hope of any survival.
However, the two managers said, they would leave no stone unturned to investigate who authorized the vessel to sail.
“For now, our concern is a search and rescue mission,” Nangbe said. “My focus is the lives of those people missing.”
The ship was granted permission to sail on Liberian waters in May this year, but was not licensed as a passenger carrier.
The disclosure was made on Wednesday August 11, 2021 by the head of Communication at the NPA, Mr. Malcom Scott, at a press conference.
Meanwhile, he said The National Port Authority has concluded ongoing Investigations surrounding allegations of financial improprieties at the Port of Buchanan involving the Port’s suspended Manager, Charles D. Gull and the acting financial manager, Mr. Amara Kamara.
Mr. Scott, noted that the two individuals admitted to investigators of the commission of the acts of opening illegal and unauthorized accounts where they deposited a little over three hundred (300) thousands United States Dollars.
Mr. Scott revealed that the NPA has forwarded the pair to the Liberia Anti- Corruption Commission (LACC) for further investigation and action on the situation.
Mr. Gull and Mr. Kamara were both suspended time indefinite without pay on July 16, 2021 and have been undergoing internal Investigations by the NPA.