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Navy arrests six vessels, 79 crewmembers for alleged crimes


Nigerian Navy

The Nigerian Navy yesterday intercepted and arrested two tanker vessels and four fishing trawlers with 79 crewmembers onboard for various maritime crimes. The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Adm. Sylvanus Abbah, disclosed this to newsmen at the command’s headquarters in Lagos.

“In line with the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok Ibas’s directives to rid Nigeria’s maritime environment of criminalities, personnel of the WNC while on routine patrol arrested two tanker vessel and four fishing trawlers for various maritime-related offences.

“On July 2 around 11:30p.m., MT DA-CHRIS was intercepted and boarded by naval personnel on routine patrol. Upon boarding, the vessel was discovered to be imballast. This raised further doubt on the activities of the vessel and prompted further investigation to ascertain the vessel’s dealings at sea,” he said.

Abba, however, said the ship’s Automatic Identification System was found to be constantly off constituting a navigational and safety offense. During the investigation, it was discovered that the vessel was operating with invalid documents.

“Again on July 20 around 5:48a.m., our personnel sighted MV SISI COMFORT 1 lurking around ABO oilfield. Investigation revealed that the vessel had about 34,000 litres of Automated Gas Oil (AGO) in its storage tank, which they claimed they pumped from their bunker tank to the storage tank to balance the ship, which was taking in water from its rudder.

“The vessel was asked to produce documents, which they were unable to and this raised suspicion on the activities of the vessel within the oilfield,” he said.

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