We were earlier told that the plane was carrying 200kg of lithium ion batteries. And then we were told on 22 March 2014 that they were not lithium ion batteries. But now we see that the consolidated airway bill below from the MH370 cargo manifest states indeed there were lithium ion batteries and the weight stated was 2453kg.
Why did Mas reportedly deny earlier there were lithium ion batteries? Now, Mas reportedly says, apart from 221 tonnes of lithium ion batteries, there were 2232 tonnes of radio accessories and chargers as well. But why does the consolidated airway bill state only “lithium ion batteries”? Why were the individual bills not disclosed?
In fact, the shipper NNR Global Logistics confirms the batteries amounted to less than 200kg. But they couldn’t reveal what was in the remaining 2232kg – for legal reasons, apparently. Why not, if they were just radio accessories and chargers, as Mas claims?
The Star reported the following:
According to NNR Global Logistics (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd in Batu Maung, the batteries formed only a small part of a “consolidated” shipment weighing 2.453 tonnes.
The batteries weighed less than 200kg, a company spokesman said. He would not say what the remaining 2.253 tonnes of cargo was.
“I cannot reveal more because of the ongoing investigations. We have been told by our legal advisers not to talk about it,” he said.
He said he could not name the company which manufactured the batteries, stating that the matter was confidential.
Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya had also announced on March 24 that 200kg of lithium batteries were on board the plane. He said they were packed safely.
In a statement issued last night, MAS said the rest of the consignment was radio accessories and chargers. But this has not been disclosed before and is not stated in the cargo manifest.
The MAS statement said: “About two tonnes, equivalent to 2,453kg, of cargo was declared as consolidated under one master airway bill. This master AWB actually comprised five house AWB. Of these five AWB, two contained lithium ion batteries amounting to a total tonnage volume of 221kg. The balance three house AWB, amounting to 2,232kg, were declared as radio accessories and chargers.”
The manifest released in the preliminary report on the missing MH370 on Thursday, however, shows that NNR Global shipped 133 pieces of one item weighing 1.99 tonnes and 67 pieces of another item weighing 463kg for a total weight of 2.453 tonnes. Neither the number of batteries nor its weight were specified.
The manifest came with an instruction that it should be handled with care and that flammability hazards exist. Its flammability had been the source of many earlier theories over how the plane was lost. However, most of the theories have been debunked.
The air waybill for the consignment was RM32,082.48.
NNR Global is located at the Dis3plex Free Commercial Zone at the Airfreight Forwarders Warehousing Cargo Complex, less than 100m from the Penang International Airport. The complex is guarded by the police and only those with passes are allowed entry.
A consolidated shipment combines several individual consignments to make up a full container load.
At the port of destination, the consolidated shipment is separated (deconsolidated or degrouped) back into the original individual consignments for delivery to their respective consignees.
Why is the name of the manufacturer of the “batteries”, etc regarded as confidential? What is there to hide? If we can know the names of the passengers, surely we are entitled to know the identities of the manufacturers/suppliers of the cargo the plane was supposed to be carrying. It is this sort of lack of transparency that fuels more questions and doubts.