Suspected vessel hijacker declared wanted
The Nigerian Navy has declared one Charles Ekpemefumor, AKA Charles Parker, wanted for allegedly masterminding the hijack of Merchant Tanker (MT) Maximus off the Cote D’ Ivoire waters.
According to the naval spokesman, Christian Ezekobe, it was earlier reported that the vessel, MT MAXIMUS with 18 crewmembers and carrying 4,368.203MT of Gas Oil was hijacked on February 11, 2016 by a group of suspected pirates off Cote d’Ivoire waters.
“Consequently, the Nigerian Navy deployed for rescue operations. The vessel was eventually rescued on February 19, 2016 within Sao Tome waters 320 nautical miles (nm) off the Nigerian coast. During the rescue operation, six pirates were arrested, while one of them was killed. Some items were recovered from the pirates included weapons and mobile telephones.
“However, in the course of investigations, it was revealed that on February 17 at about 10p.m., while the vessel was still hijacked, a GSM phone number +2348170000979 called Inmarsat Satellite Phone number +8821644414815 onboard MT MAXIMUS. On further analysis, it was discovered that the GSM phone number belongs to one Mr. Charles Ekpemefumor aka Charles Parker or Captain Charles Agaba. It was also revealed by the arrested pirates that Charles Parker is the mastermind of the hijack attack on the MT MAXIMUS.
“In view of his involvement in the pirate attack and hijacking of MT MAXIMUS, a letter of invitation was sent to him on April 15 to enable him come for questioning on the allegation. Several attempts have been made to ensure his compliance but all efforts proved abortive.
“Accordingly, Mr. Charles is hereby declared wanted by the Naval Headquarters in order to unravel the circumstances of the hijack of MT MAXIMUS. Therefore, any person who sights him should report immediately to any naval formation, military or security agencies for prompt action,” the statement noted.
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