Story of Foreigners Stuck in Mombasa Ship for Over 2 Years

  • Some of the Syrian nationals stuck on MV Jinan on the coast of Mombasa.
    Some of the Syrian nationals stuck on MV Jinan on the coast of Mombasa.
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  • Nine foreign national have been forced to live under horrible conditions inside a multi-million ship stuck at the coastal town of Mombasa for two years.

    Speaking to Citizen TV, the crew members of Syrian descent revealed that they could not leave the ship or else they risk losing their pay, dating back for over three years.

    The seafarers have been living on the vessel, MV Jinan, without basic needs as well as medicine and are relying on well-wishers for medicine.

    When the ship arrived on the port, it unloaded a cargo of construction materials but its staff, which comprised of 18 members, were facilitated to return to their homes.

    Nine of them have since given up and returned to their home country.

    MV Jinan floating on Indian Ocean at the Mombasa Coastline.
    MV Jinan floating on Indian Ocean at the Mombasa Coastline.
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    "Life is difficult. We have been here for two years and could not see our family nor our children. This is not good life. We are waiting for the money," stated one of the victims.

    The foreigners believe that once a member opts going back to Syria, they forfeit their benefits in entirety.

    Those who flew out were sent air tickets by their respective families and the kin of those who remained have, ever since, demanded for the hastening of the payment.

    "If anybody told us from the beginning that we could not get anything, we could leave and go to continue with our lives," lamented another victim.

    With the current wave of Covid-19 and immigration rules, the nine individuals are not allowed to go on land and interact freely with the locals.

    The Seafarers Association in Mombasa, which has been supplying food to the individuals, likened the living conditions on the ship worse that those of a jail cell.

    "They have waited for so long, the situation in this ship is worse than being in prison. I would chose to be in prison," explained a representative.

    After spending about a year on the vessel, they filed a suit at Mombasa Court where a buyer reportedly deposited money for the purchase of the ship which the foreigners are yet to see.

    The amounted deposited allegedly includes Ksh58 million value added tax and Ksh33 million to cater for salaries and accrued port charges. The money was deposited on April 16.

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    The Indian Ocean in Malindi, Kilifi County
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