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THE PHANTOM OF THE OF THE SEA
THE DANGEROUS STRETCH OF...
The sea between the coast of Madagascar and Mozambique was often referred as the dangerous stretch by the sailors. Many boats have perished there. Reputable sailors often refused to cross that way, afraid to tarnish their gallantry reputation or persh with their ship in the deep end of the ocean.
For centuries that's how it was and that it is going to be "I am no career sailor," John Nare told himself, "but at least I could swim... no sailor at all." this is a true story of John Nare who just got his new identity document as Joao Cain, a native of the coastal town. "money can buy any identity..." he mumbled as he walked to his chalet.
For few days that he waited at Vilanculos for his team to arrive, John Nare studied the sea, he read about the advantures at the sea. Downloading weather reports and articles on the Indian ocean, his focus was mainly the sea between the coast of Madagascar and Mozambique. over the years the coastline from Mombasa, Kenya to Mozambican Island has been the most peaceful. No incident of illegal fishing, no lost Chinese ship floating into territorial waters of any country, not even a dhow with hungry undocumented persons.
Then one day a mysterious vessel was picked up by a satellite, then it vanished. And for days nothing...
At least that was what the security reports to UN said about that part of the world. The French Navy patrolled that sea from the coast of Madagascar and the rest of the East African coast. John Nare read all the reports, even the classified.
JAC was about six years old but was worth billions of dollars, it was immediately registered in the London stock exchange, parts of the equities were sold to another company across the Atlantic and Hong Kong, mergers and counter mergers JAC became a global player but one fateful day JAC's CEO and CFO and the rest of the team disappeared. presumably kidnapped in from a small island in the coast of Quilimane, North of Mozambique. For weeks the disappearance of JAC executive board made headlines news, the market crashed as investors sold their shares.
Now all hopes was on one man, John Nare, alias Joao Cain. A man who was known around the world for his skills in counter terrorism and hostage negotion. John Nare's success in defusing situations of delicate, death and life second to none.
He live a life of recluse and no picture of him has ever been published.
The only lead John had was the floating dhow that vanished from the radars of those monitoring the sea along the east African coast.
Could the kidnapping of JAC have anything to do with the disappearance of the vessel?
Is there a phantom of the sea in the East coast of Africa?
The one man who could assist us with these answers was sitting at Smugglers Inn, sipping his 2MM, nursing the can of beer. "the rest can wait..." Joao Cain looked the ringing mobile phone, "a man cannot have a beer in peace."
Every morning before sunrise, John Nare would download every report, analys and send to the laboratory. John Nare knows the power of information but the accuracy of the information is vital. He only work with the best. The trio, Doig Truck, Carla and Marla but he could assemble a team that could respond, defuse any situation.
Doig Truck was feeling a bit sluggish. He was slowing down, exhaustion does that. He shifted and wind down the window for fresh air to keep his blood sugar level in-check. He did not want to look too sober nor too drunk, just in the groove. He steered the dolphin shape BMW through the street of Maputo heading northward. It was just the right time to slip out of town, before the town came to live. Up north along the coast of Mozambique he a quiet place for breakfast.
Driving a 325I BMW, Gauteng registration, with a beautiful girls next to him made him look like a gangster. The other girl was sleeping at the backseat, she too was exhausted after a long night of shooters and tequila, the wild night at Coconut and Ice Launch and gambling at casino was just what Doig wanted to immerse into a new character.
The character of a bad guy, a kingpin, a car jacker, any reference to help him to get nearer the phantom of the sea.
Doig raised the volume as he floored the speeding pedal. The BMW obeyed, sturdily it gained the speed, the music was loud, comfortably loud and for a moment Doig drift somewhere else. Distant past.
At 26 years of age Doig Truck had eight years of exciting career or maybe just seven years of excitement and wandering about Africa. After a year at university of Nambia in Windhoek Doig joined the army. He became an officer and was seconded to SADC security desk in Gabaron where he was responsible for monitoring and advising the regional security cluster on the conflict in Africa and the world. He spend part of that time analysing the conflict in the Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes. He did a tour of duty in South Sudan as part of UN peace keeping force and was transferred to AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, but office work was not for him. He was a field man, a damn good one. Soon Doig found himself travelling to Somalia, Kenya and Yemen as tourist. cocktail items to wear of the online market
His office never missed him, neither did he miss the office.
Doig Truck wrote and published few articles on "the rise of terrorism, movement of undocumented persons and effects of organized crime..." Doig was the thinktank on safety and threats in the African continent. Africa like the rest of the world was under economic pressure, the global crises was hitting the most vulnerable regions as powerful men shifted the investments to escape paying their dues to the state.
Unhappy with with the bureaucratic red tapes as a public servant and tired of the perks Doig resigned as a major and setup a consulting company with some associates, among them his friend John Nare alias Joao Cain. The company known as O2O set its office in Sandton, South Africa, specializing in risk assessment or weather monitoring. The company started providing services to insurances, brokers and underwriters and those interested in safety.
Doig Truck turned the volume higher, accidentally as they approached a police check point, he froze to irritate the officers who were seriously carrying out their duties. The girl got nervous too as she stare the officers with a AK aim at them.
Carla, the girl in the back seat wake up just in time as the officer peered through the window of the German manufactured sedan. She was hungry and did not really pay attention to the officers. This was just another case of tourist from across the border trying to indulge in the warm water of the Indian ocean.
Doig presented the documents and the police wished them a warm friendly passage.
John Nare after studying the navigational system of his new boat he was ready to sail. He woke up few hours before the sun. Running along the sea revitalized him, as he ran he made a mental note of the wind, the archipelago and the general activities of Vilanco. The fisher men crawled to the sea under the blancket of the dawn.
It was also at this time that the music at Smugglers Inn stopped. Men who came to inland marched towards the boats that took them to the island, different beautiful islands along the coastal line and one the island was holding the CEO of JAC enterprise and his executive team. Billions of dollars as investors jumped ships.
John Nare knew that it's only matter of time before he could identify those involved.
The dhow floated further south, away from the baseline. Khalif warned the skipper to stay calm and away from territorial coastline.
Floating about 200 nautical miles from any coastline made the show untouchable. Law is law and is governed by precision, technicalities and the rest can float around the place.
Khalif did not want any attention. He was only a small fish, the transporter and did not wish to get into the radar of any organization. Khalif wanted to stay as transporter in the sea, make a, quick buc and put food on the table. That's how his family were and wanted to keep that tradition. Own a dhow and put the food on the table.
But the sea was contest and more and more the market was being threatened.
The other day as he left the port of Mambasa he overheard about the Phantom of the sea. It was just a fishermen's story.
THE PEBANI FILE
It was eleven o'clock at Pemba, north of Mozambique.The sun was hot, baking the white the earth. The soft sandy beach with glittering particles was giving the reflection, giving the feeling of imperfection, the imbalance that often define the beauty on the woods and rocks that human came to admire throughout the history of mankind. A holiday haven, Marla exclaimed as she dug her beautiful feet in the squeaking sand.
A good day to leisure, explore the beautiful town in the east African coast. This is a every tourist's dream.
But Marla was not an ordinary tourist. She had the beauty and the body to win swimwear competition. Her her innocent smile, the carrapinha afro-hair and the haughty posture of undefeated youth put her in the twenties. She was selected, trained and now deployed, tasked to solve the mystery. The disappearance... The kidnapped CEO of JAC and his team
Marla took a deep breath and grabbed her towel and walked away, maybe some day she will come to appreciate these beauty, not this time. Marla's chalet was few feet from the from the main hotel and short distance from Pemba international airport. The only airport in that part. The four bedroom chalet was spacious enough, it offered the comfort and there Carla, Marla and Doig Truck set up their temporary operation quarter.
The Kneyean flight 265 was scheduled to land at Pemba international airport at 14h45, but it was 58 minutes behind schedule. The delay was not not uncommon, usually this things happened with small airports, some airports with low traffick can suffer alterations in their flow. Everyone, frequent flyers and service providers knew about those hiccups.
One person that could not be content with the delay was Rashid. The cleaner at the airport was not happy at all. She was extremely annoyed with these unscheduled but behind this annoyance was a concern.
Night before at the hotel launch, one of the best hangout in town Rashid met the a young man. A tourist from the south, the charmer, "o chato!" The flirting was good and night was short but the promise to continue the next day was just what Rashid wanted.
She was in love once. Deeply in love but her sweet left her widow with a two children. A skillful fisherman drawned one fateful day and often Rashid would stare at the sea with contempt, the pain that took meaning in her live. But recently she was trying to put all that behind. And at the hotel were the sea water crushed the pebbles Rashid met, "o chato, " the charmer. The tourist...
But the night was short, after the cocktail she slipped out, almost running but the tourist stood the the steps and blew a kiss, she responded... "Amanha! As catorze... " She responded and disappeared in the night.
Doig Truck, the tourist stood at the seps for a moment pondering. One more drink and sleep. Doig turned back and slowly walked into the launch of the hotel. The music was playing. As he walked to the counter he caught a glimpse of the corner table where two ladies were sitting. Marla and Carla did not even look at him. They were tearing apart the platters of seafood.
Doig Truck send a message to John Nare who was just walking out of Smugglers Inn many kilometers south of Pemba.
Abu was looking through the window of the flight 265 as it took off. Finally he was leaving Nairobi. He was travelling as a British business man, under the name of Anthony Khan. Abu, Anthony Khan was feeling not so well, he leaned back and closed his eyes and fell asleep.
Cleaners at the airports are tasked to cover specific areas and Rashid was was clean the transit area that day. At least she planned to be there until the take off of flight 265 from Nairobi. Then she will go and meet the handsome tourist. He could not stop texting her. He made her feel like a school girl and now the delay.
She looked around. The new girl that was transferred from Nampula was mopping the floor but maybe she could help her. The new girl could cover the transit area, after all the sisters must help each other. Carla, the new girl from Nampula took over the transit area and watched carefully as the passengers of 265 walked in the transit area. Abu was the eighth passenger.
Almost 5 hours after the take off of flight 265 from Pemba international airport Mr. Anthony Khan, the British traveller stood at Maputo airport filing forms about lost goods. His laptop was missing, suspect stolen.
After enquiry at Pemba international a bag with computer was found at the transit area. The bag suspected to belong to Mr. Anthony Khan.
Rashid was sad. She did not meet the young tourist. He waited for her, but some how his mobile phone's battery died. 5 hours later he was texting to apologize. He also had to drive to the port of Nacala for business. Rashid was sad. She stared the sea, the dark sea as the waves crushed against the rocks.
At least she should go and thank the new girl for covering in for her. Who knows maybe they would become friends.
The next day she searched and could not find the new cleaner.
After few hours of analysis of Abu's computer data. Marla compiled a comprehensive report.
The Pebani file. Now John Nare must find Ali before everyone does.
Alibaba was on constant move. He slept less and was on his guard. Suspicious almost being paranoid. It comes with the territory. The hunted must always be few step ahead of the hunter. This is the cardinal rule of survival an d Ali lived by that rule. The survival rules.
The theft, loss and recovery of Mr. Khan's laptop was a measure concern to Ali and his team. Was there a breach... was the chain broken? Personal belongings do not just disappear and reappear. There had to be a logic explanations. But Ali was only a small fish in this webb of enterprise. He was merely a tool that could be discarded at anytime. "No One is indispensable..."Ali reminded himself.
In Johannesburg, at Sandton two men were standing, staring through the window of one of the tallest building overlooking the Sandton city. Two business men pondered in disbelief.
"Anthony Khan has compromised the operation... the loss of his laptop cannot be ruled as an accident," the tall elderly man mumbled as he turned away from the window.
"What must we do... what if it was only a loss," the younger of the two men at the office we analyzing the misfortune of Anthony Khan. But why Pemba international airport, the dormant of all the airports that the man has travelled. Was he tired and forgot his personal belongings? Was he drugged and is only telling half of the story? Did he perhaps travelled with a women and... the younger man too in the Sandton officer had man questions. He never liked Abu aka Anthony Khan but there is always a logical explanations for a man of science.