Dutch cargo vessel Probo Koala free to sail

  • 14/11/2006

Dutch cargo vessel Probo Koala free to sail The Dutch cargo vessel Probo Koala, which illegally dumped huge amount of deadly toxic waste around Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan in the first week of September, has left Estonia and is now heading west towards the Baltic Sea.

The Probo Koala had been impounded in Estonia's Paldiski port, on the request of the Ivorian government and environmental groups to carry out investigations. It was held for three weeks as Estonian authorities investigated the toxicity of the loaded in the cargo and was given permission to leave after emptying its waste tanks at a disposal centre near Sillamae port. While the vessel remained the subject of a criminal investigation, all the necessary evidence had been gathered and it was free to sail, local media reports quoted Estonian prosecution officials. The Dutch company Trafigura, which chartered Probo Koala, said the ship's cargo contained material with little toxicity. Meanwhile, the death toll in Ivory Coast has risen to 10.