South African police thursday said they had boarded a Russian-registered cargo ship allegedly carrying illegal weapons and explosives en route to Lagos, Nigeria.
The vessel, named Lada, had reportedly left Madagascar before stopping at Ngqura port outside the eastern city of Port Elizabeth, where it was detained after a security check last Sunday.
“We are aware that she has dangerous cargo – explosives and weapons – on board,” spokeswoman for the Transnet state transport company, Olwethu Mdabula, told AFP.
She declined to give further details.
The spokesman for the Hawks police investigative unit, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, confirmed to AFP that the vessel was carrying weapons.
“This is a very, very sensitive matter. It is receiving attention,” he said.
Local reports said police had searched the vessel after an anonymous tip-off and found weapons and explosives worth about $3.5 million in 20 containers on board.