​ Freighter with Romanian crew hijacked by criminal cartel for arms and drugs trafficking

Jan. 19, 2017 at 05:20 by Mikhail Voytenko in Maritime Security

General cargo vessel which belongs to Moroccan businessman Mohammed Oulahcen was hijacked by international criminal cartel and used for illegal arms transportaion to Houthis rebels, Yemen, and for cocaine trafficking. Mohammed Oulahcen in partnership with Portuguese national Jose bought vessel in Turkey in year 2015, vessel was renamed, registered under Comoros flag, and had to sail to Casablanca, but as it came out, his Portuguese partner had other plans. Vessel understood to be engaged in illegal trafficking of arms and drugs. Mohammed Oulahcen turned to Morocco authorities, Turkish law enforcement agencies also got involved, reporting vessel has been hijacked and relocated to Nigeria. According to Morocco sources, vessel in question is MERBEY, with Turkish Captain and Romanian crew. Vessel is anchored at Calabar, Nigeria, since at least Sep 2016. Photo from http://www.turkgemileri.com/ships/omerbey1.htm

​  Freighter with Romanian crew hijacked by criminal cartel for arms and drugs trafficking