The Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) has called for calm amid concerns over the impounding of a ship flying the country’s flag in Libya with officials in Freetown promising to investigate the incident.
Reports from Libya earlier in the week suggested that the vessel, an oil tanker detained on suspicion of engaging in illegal practices allegedly carried the green, white and blue flag of Sierra Leone.
The ship allegedly entered Libyan waters without the knowledge of the authorities, the Libyan government based in Tripoli said.
The tanker was supposedly flying the Sierra Leone flag under the Flag of Convenience policy that allows internationally owned ships to operate under the name of another country.
SLMA in a statement on Wednesday said it has already instituted an investigation on the matter, the outcome of which will be made public.
The SLMA is mindful of the fact that such incidents have a likelihood of tarnishing the image of the Sierra Leone flag internationally, the statement read in part.
The SLMA claimed it has not received any formal complaint from the Libyan authorities of the incident but was now working with the authorities in the North African country to deal with the issue.
There are also unconfirmed reports of some senior government officials are involved in making shady deals with unscrupulous companies to fly the Sierra Leone flag.