LIBERIA – The owner of the Niko Ivanka Vessel, Alex Tou has told the police investigative team that the WAEC Liberia office requested him to carry her examiners to Maryland, with the aid of the Managing Director of the National Port Authority Bill Twehway, who instructed the director of the Seaport police to allow the WAEC staffs board his vessel.

On July 17, 2021, the Niko Ivanka, a Chinese-owned vessel departed the Freeport of Monrovia for the Port of Harper, Maryland County when it subsequently Sank in route to its destination.

During the police investigation, Defendant Tou explained that his vessel was built and had been registered by LMA since 2018, henceforth it has been operating until the incident.

But police investigation made known that the owner of the vessel did not inform the WAEC office that the vessel was only registered specifically for cargoes and not passengers.

The police established that the filing clerk in the office of the managing director of the National Port Authority received a detention notice from the Liberia Maritime Authority, adding that she delivered the same communication to her immediate boss Roland Sunnyway who denied having knowledge of the documents.

The police charge sheet stated that the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA) revealed that the vessel left the Freeport of Monrovia unauthorized with about 27 occupants including nine members of its crew, eight staff of the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), a police officer, and other passengers.

It can be recalled also that on April 22, 2021, the vessel was cited for being in violation of a detention order issued by the inspectorate department.

Consequently, defendant Tou, a Chinese National, and owner of the vessel endangered the lives of the passengers on board the vessel, knowing the vessel was meant to only carry cargoes and not passengers, thus allowing the vessel to sail against the detention notice.

Police investigation unveiled that the vessel was loaded with 125tons of rice,97tons of fuels, mix goods containing WAEC material for Greenville & Oxygen Tank for Ruby Lightweight, 10tons, and nine WAEC staff along with 9 crew members whose names were reflected on the vessel’s official manifest.

Meanwhile, Police in Liberia have investigated, charged, and sent to court, the owner of the MV Niko Ivanka vessel that sank a few months ago.

Police investigation on August 30 of this year found and acquainted Alex Tou with his constitutional rights and further charged him for the crimes of Negligent Homicide, Recklessly Endangering another Person, Criminal Conspiracy and Criminal Facilitation which violates chapter 14.3, Chapter 14.23, Chapter 10.2, and Chapter 10.4 of the revised penal law of the Republic of Liberia.

The police charged Alex Tou, the vessel’s owner, and others including George Mccay, Azaan Dahi, Zhong Qixiang, and Wesley G. Monroe for accompanying the reckless act that destroyed several lives and properties.

They have been forwarded to the court and await trial.


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