The Drug Ship and Mysterious Death of UN Official


Published Sep 24, 2015 11:53 AM by The Maritime Executive

A U.N. official involved in the investigation of the Höegh Transporter, which was detained at Kenya’s Port of Mombasa last week, was found dead in his Kenyan hotel room.

Shamus Mangan, an Australian, was a U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime detective tracking the Höegh Transporter, which the agency believed was transporting drugs.

Local authorities said that Mangan was discovered by hotel employees with blood in his mouth, but no apparent physical injuries. Locals said that Mangan, 41, was probably murdered due to his role in the investigation of the Singapore-flagged auto carrier.

The ship’s crew has been arrested are being questioned by authorities.

The Höegh Transporter was transporting nearly 4,000 military vehicles from Mumbai, which were to be used for U.N. peacekeeping missions in South Sudan. On September 17, Kenyan soldiers detained the ship and shut down the Port of Mombasa after receiving a tip that the vessel was transporting drugs and firearms.

Kenyan officials revealed they discovered cocaine inside the tires of the vehicles as well as more than 40 rifles, including nine M-16s, and nine NATO-grade machine guns hidden in the truck’s compartments.

East Africa is a key export route for Afghan narcotics shipments bound for Europe and maritime forces have attempted to slow the flow of drug transport in the region. Mombasa serves as the main gateway for imports and exports in the region and East Africa has been a key export route for narcotic shipments bound for Europe.

The vessel is still being guarded by Kenyan authorities and is likely to be blown up for carrying drugs and illegal weapons into the country.

Click here for MarEx’s previous report on this situation.