Liberia: Patrol Boat Missing From Sinoe’s Port; NPA Remains Tightlipped

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MONROVIA – FrontPageAfrica investigation has established that one of the three tugboats that were purchased during the regime of former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to be used by the Samuel A. Ross Seaport in Sinoe County has gone missing.

There are mixed reactions concerning the missing boat in the county with some residents of the county accusing members of the NPA authority of allegedly selling the boat to a Sierra Leone businessman while others are saying that the boat got sunk on the ocean while chasing a Fanti fishing canoe.

But the Management of the National Port Authority remains tightlipped on the issue of the missing boat. The Communication Director at NPA, Malcolm Scott did not confirm neither deny the report of the missing boat.

Two weeks of efforts to get comment from Mr. Scott has proved futile.

FrontPageAfrica investigation has also established that the Patrol Boat III, as it was named went missing since September 2020 under the stewardship of the current Port Manager Bill Tweahway.

Employees of the Samuel A. Ross Port in Sinoe County who asked not to name on fear of being fired told FPA reporter that they suspect that the boat has been sold by some top NPA staff with the consent of the Managing Director Bill Tweahway.

“The fact here is that the boat is actually missing and we’ve been suspecting a business man from Sierra Leone that bought that boat because that same man brought rice here before and he talked about procuring a patrol boat for his business,” the employee said.

Others have also disclosed that the boat sunk in the ocean while pursuing an illegal fishing canoe in the county.

“The entire management team of the NPA came here and told us that the boat sunk and the crew members were rescued but we did not see the crew members that were on board,” another employee explained.

The Management of the National Port Authority during the regime of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf signed a contract value at over $ USD 6 million with Smit Lamnalco for the supply of marine crafts which includes two Tug Boats: namely, Lamnalco waxbill and Lamnalco wagtail. A patrol boat: Smit Qasim and Pilot boat: Smit Oloma, for use at the Port of Greenville in Sinoe County.

The signing ceremony took place on March 22, 2016 at the National Port Authority (NPA) head office at the Freeport of Monrovia with Managing Director, David F. Williams, signed on behalf of the NPA while Mr. Paul Grizell, Regional Commercial Manager for Africa signed  on behalf of Smit Lamnalco.

Since the arrival of the Marine crafts at the Greenville Port in Sinoe County, economic activities at the port has been smoothly running until the patrol boat went missing recently.

Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Monday, March 20, 2017 commissioned the three boats in Sinoe County that were acquired from the proceeds of 4,000,000 KUWAITI DINAR (KDR) – US$13.1 Million equivalent – agreement signed between the government of Liberia (NPA) and the Kuwait Fund for the rehabilitation of the port of Greenville.

The first tug boat was named M/T SETRA KRU. SETRA KRU, the chosen name is one of the five towns established by the Kru men.

One of the previous tug boats at the port of Greenville was also named M/T Nana Kru, after one of the five towns.

The second tug boat was named M/T SINOE RIVER. The Sinoe River is the river closed to the port that you crossed on your way to the port and some marine activities take place.

The river flows into the ocean around the port basis entry way.

Similarly, the pilot boat was named PILOT III because the Port of Greenville is ranked third among the four ports within the National Port Authority port system.

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