Vessel impounded for smuggling arms sinks in the Philippines

Vessel impounded for smuggling arms sinks in the Philippines

A vessel confiscated in 2009 by the Philippines’ Bureau of Customs for arms smuggling has sunk in Manila Bay due to lack of maintenance.

The unmanned general cargo vessel Captain Ufuk (2,450 dwt) sank on Sunday morning (local time) after its hull sprang a leak, according to local reports.

There was no fuel in the ships’ tanks and therefore no danger of an oil spill, Commander Armand Balilo, spokesman for the Philippine Coast Guard, told press.

Balilo said the Coast Guard is coordinating salvage operations because the wreck is a navigational hazard in the bay.

The Panama-flagged vessel was impounded in 2009 when it sailed without notice into Mariveles port, located at the mouth of Manila Bay.

Some 54 high-powered rifles were reportedly found onboard by Philippine authorities.

An investigation by the country’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service discovered that certain Filipino politicians had ordered the guns from an international gunrunning syndicate.

 

 

File photo.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.

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