We didn’t know the vessel’s destination – three say after foiled stowaway

Three Ghanaian stowaways, Akesse Francis Alan (left), Samuel Yalley (middle), Emmanuel Agyei (right

Three Ghanaians have been disembarked at the Port of Tema, after being nabbed mid-voyage in Namibian waters during their stowaway attempt.

The three, who were hiding in a ship in order to make a journey without paying, were identified as Emmanuel Agyei-45 years, Akesse Francis Alan-46 years, and Samuel Yalley-45 years, all from Elmina in the Central Region. Upon their arrest in Namibia, they were transferred to a sister vessel, Kota Salam, at Walvis Bay anchorage for repatriation to Ghana.

Upon interrogation by port security, they claimed to have successfully on-boarded the vessel, MV Kota Lumba, with a bamboo ladder at the blindside of the ship’s crew late September 2020. However, they were caught in the vessel when they left their hiding place to search for food and water after they ran out in the middle of the voyage.

According to the stowaways, although they had no prior idea where the ship was going they were hopeful it would be destined for a country that offers greener pastures. They revealed that they had travelled to Tema from Elmina in pursuit of better livelihoods, but could not make ends meet – hence the decision to stowaway.

Head of intelligence at the Port of Tema, Sheikh Labaran Salifu Barry, advised the general public to eschew the deviant act of stowing-away, as it is a highly dangerous venture.

“This is a dangerous venture; it is putting your life at risk. You can be trapped in the vessel and no one will even know where you are. There are a lot of good things in Ghana, and they have to be ready to work hard to make it here in the country as others have,” Mr. Barry said.

He said his outfit will continue to sensitise the general public, especially the youth, as to the dangers associated with irregular migration, and educate them on the right way to travel. The three have been handed over to the security services for investigations to continue. Meanwhile, port officials continue to urge security agencies in other African countries to meet stowaways with more deterrent punishments, in order to stop the menace of stowaways on the continent.                                                                                                                              

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