Personnel of the Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy in Apapa, Lagos, have arrested three vessels for suspected illegal oil deals and fishing.
The vessels were said to have been arrested by men of the Navy Ship Beecroft (NNS Beecroft), an operational unit of the Western Naval Command, while engaging in illegal fishing activities at the Command’s Area of Responsibility (AOR).
Speaking on the arrest, the Commanding Officer of NNS Beecroft, Commodore Chris Ezekobe, said the arrest was made possible through the commitments and renewed efforts of the command to make the maritime environment difficult for illegal activities to thrive.
The vessel was handed over to the Federal Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture by the navy for further action and prosecution.
He said: “Silver Streak was arrested on January 27, for illegal fishing. She was licensed for shrimping. At the point of arrest, she had about four tones of shrimps and five tonnes of fish and that translates to about 253 bags of fish and that is in commercial quantity and it does not conform to the extant laws of our land regarding fishing, so she was arrested.
“The Nigerian Navy has increased its presence at sea and we have tried to make illegal dealings on our water difficult. Actions of sea pirates and robbery are being reduced by increasing presence of the Nigerian Navy at sea,” Ezekobe said.
He added: “The Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, has declared a zero tolerance for illegal activities in Nigerian waters and this has resulted in enhanced maritime patrols.”
He noted that increased presence of the navy at sea was geared towards ensuring that the Nigerian maritime environment is safe for legitimate economic activities for the well being of Nigerians.