Suspected toxic waste ship hits Nigerian shores
… As Belgian vessel is detained at Tin-Can Port
Yet, again, another vessel carrying imported used consignments suspected to be electronic waste of toxic nature may have hit Nigeria’s shores, landing at the Tin-Can Island Port Complex (TCIPC), Apapa, Lagos, from Europe.
SHIPS & PORTS DAILY recalls that, earlier this year, a ship, the MV Marivia, had charged before the Federal High Court, Lagos, with the alleged importation of electronic harmful wastes on January 9, 2013.
The MV Marivia, which was arrested at the TCIPC, and originated from Tilbury, United Kingdom (UK), was charged along with a Nigerian, Rumok David, and a firm, Bonicks Investment.
In three counts, it was alleged that the harmful wastes, comprising mixture of functioning and non-functioning electrical/electronic equipment, imported into the country by David, were loaded in two 40-foot containers.
40 feet container, No. ECMU9870858 containing a mixture of functioning and non-functioning electrical/electronic equipment in a vessel named MV Marivia.
In the latest incident, the Nigerian Navy (NN) has seized a Belgian vessel, the MV Eurocargo Salemo, on suspicions of harbouring toxic waste.
The vessel is being held at the TCIPC, and the Commander, NNS Beecroft, Naval Base, Apapa, Lagos, Commodore Chris Ezekobe, said that the Navy had questioned the Captain, the Second Mate and Third Mate of the MV Eurocargo Salemo, namely: Claudia Mondino, Raffaele Dimartino, and Eugenio Ruffo, respectively.
The vessel, according to Ezekobe, allegedly arrived Nigeria from Belgium carrying used refrigerators concealed in three trucks.
He explained that the National Environmental Standards Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) had provided the intelligence report that alerted the Navy on the arrival of the vessel.
The Navy chief said: “Based on the information, the Nigerian Navy posted its personnel to be on the lookout for the ship.”
Noting that the vessel was sighted in Nigerian waters last Wednesday, and was promptly arrested, Ezekobe said: “We are handing over the vessel to NIMASA (Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), which alongside NESREA, would rummage the vessel to determine the extent of the toxic waste. Our job was to arrest, which we did, but we do not have the capacity to test for toxic materials, which is the purview of NESREA.”
Also speaking, Lagos State Coordinator, NESREA, Mrs. Eunice Eze, who noted that the Federal Government had made it imperative that Nigeria was not a dumping ground, explained that the Agency had been tipped-off about the vessel by its source to watch out for the suspected toxic materials-laden vessel.