Navy arrests 7 suspected stowaways in Lagos

The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT on Wednesday in Lagos said it had arrested seven suspects for stowing away in a foreign vessel bound for Spain.

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command (WNC), Apapa, Rear Admiral Jonathan Ango, told newsmen in Lagos that the NNS Ikot-Abasi arrested the suspects.

He said, “Preliminary investigations revealed that the arrested persons boarded the vessel while it was discharging its products and their intention was to follow the vessel to Holland.

“On completion of its operations, MT ELECTRA BARI with IMO number 941682 left for Lome, Togo.

“It was while in Togo, it discovered some strange people on board and established communication with NNS Ship Ikot -Abasi. They now effected the arrest of seven stowaways.

“The suspects have been handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service for further investigation and prosecution.”

He also said that the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Usman Jibrin, had zero tolerance for all maritime crimes within Nigeria’s space.

He called on criminally minded elements to seek legitimate employment instead of engaging in “untoward activities”.

The suspects are Kwekwu Asamua, John Okhian, Joe Mcgee, Ibrahim Sola, lkechukwu Obi, Maxwell Madu and Papa Omomobi.

The stowaways were said to have sneaked onboard MT ELECTRA BARI, which berthed to discharge petroleum products at a tank farm in Apapa.

The captain of the vessel was said to have detected the stowaways and drawn the attention of the commander of NNS Beecroft, Commodore Tekumo Ikoli.

One of the stowaways, Asamua said this would be his second attempt after the first attempt to enter Europe illegally.

Another stowaway, Madu, blamed frustration for attempting to travel abroad while Omomobi said they tracked the ship’s destination from a device installed on their mobile phones and then picked on the one they deemed useful.

An NIS representative, Supt. Oloruntoba Gabriel of the Marine Command, received the stowaways from Navy.

He said investigations would continue with a view to ascertaining the claims of their nationalities before they would be prosecuted.

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