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Vessel owners fault FG, others on freed sailors

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Owners of ‘MT APECUS’ have berated the federal government, the navy, the police as well as the Indian government over the recent release of five Indian sailors and one Nigerian (the captain) kidnapped in Bonny, arguing that they did nothing to secure their release.

While calling for the immediate release of Charles Marccathy, a Ghanaian kidnapped by the hijackers while he was attempting to deliver the ransom, and 17 crew members allegedly detained by the navy, they frowned at the nonchalance of security agencies and the governments when their staff were in captivity.

Seafarers on the vessel (MT APECUS), who were kidnapped on April 19, regained freedom after two months.

However, the federal government and the High Commission of India, Abuja, had claimed that their release was due to the sustained efforts of various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Shipping, the Directorate General of Shipping and the High Commission of India, Abuja.

Spokesman for the vessel owners, Mr. Koffi Bue, said: “The Nigerian government, the Navy and the Indian government did nothing towards securing their release from captivity, or if they did anything at all, the impact was not felt because the vessel owners did everything possible to ensure that they were reunited with their families.”

In another development, the Central Naval Command (CNC) of the Nigerian Navy has confirmed the arrest of four vessels loaded with about two million litres of products suspected to be illegally-refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO), commonly known as diesel.

The command also said the vessels and their contents had been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

MV Messiah 1, Barge Miracle, Barge Kome XVIII and Nicholas Marine were arrested at various locations within Brass Council of Bayelsa State.

Field Officer in Charge (FOC) of CNC headquarters, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, disclosed this to newsmen at the Formoso Base of the Nigerian Navy at Egweama in Brass Island.

According to Garba, MV Messiah 1 and Barge Miracle, belonging Messrs Abday Logistics and Multilinks Limited, were accosted at Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) Terminal, Brass, ready to discharge AGO, while Barge Koma XVIII and Nicholas Marine with seven crew members were accosted on their way to supply the same AGO to NAOC Terminal, Brass.


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