Operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft yesterday handed over six suspected pirates to the police.
They were handed over to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Special Investigation Panel from Abuja by the Commander NNS BEECROFT, Commordore Abraham Adaji.
While four of the suspects- Paul Adeyemi, Samuel Timothy, Joshua Ayo and Collins Adebayo- were arrested in February after they hijacked an oil Vessel, MT MAXIMUS off the coast of Cote D’Ivoire, the navy nabbed Gani Mustapha and Tunde Abdulraman in the course of investigation.
According to Adaji, Mustapha was arrested because he is the owner of a rogue vessel, DEJIKUN, which the suspects used to hijack MT MAXIMUS.
He explained that Abdulraman who was the Captain of DEJIKUN was also arrested because investigations conducted by the navy indicated that DEJIKUN was used by the pirates to syphon petroleum products from the hijacked vessel.
“We handed over to the police because we have concluded our investigations. The Naval headquarters has been in touch with the Inspector General of Police and because of the interest he has in the matter, he sent a special team from Abuja to come and take the suspects,” he said.
The suspects were arrested and the hijacked vessel rescued by Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) OKPABANA at about 390 nautical miles off Lagos coast.
But before NN personnel got to the ship, two of its crew members were kidnapped and taken away some of the criminals.
In the course of rescuing the vessel and the rest of the crew, one of the pirates, a Nigerian, was killed during a gun battle.
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