• Monday, April 22, 2024
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Nigerian Navy intercepts vessel, arrests 15 onboard

Nigerian Navy intercepts vessel, arrests 15 onboard

In a significant maritime security operation, the Nigerian Navy, in collaboration with Ocean Marine Services (OMS), a private maritime security firm, and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Nigeria Limited, has intercepted and arrested a Merchant Fishing Vessel (MFV), Lily IV, alongside 15 crew members

The interception took place at approximately noon when the MV Kingston, a vessel owned by OMS and contracted by SPDC, with Nigerian Navy personnel onboard, apprehended the MFV Lily IV. The vessel was captured for an alleged illegal entry into the Maritime Exclusion Zone (MEZ) of the Forcados Oil Terminal Crude Loading Platform (FOTCLP).

Abba Muhsan, the commander of NNS Delta, represented by Solomon Paul, the executive officer, NNS Delta, while addressing journalists during the handover of the suspects, emphasised the navy’s commitment to enforcing maritime laws, ensuring the safety of Nigerian waters, and cracking down on illegal activities in the Niger Delta region.

He said that following the operation, on March 13, 2024, FOB Escravos assumed custody of the MFV Lily IV for further investigation. The vessel, along with its crew, including 15 suspects -14 Nigerians and one Ghanaian, were handed over to the representative of the fishery department, Iwanegbe America, on Wednesday, at Navy Base Jetty in Warri, Delta State.

This operation, according to the navy commander, should serve as a stern warning to mariners who violate maritime regulations within the Nigerian waters.

He said that the Nigerian Navy, in its coast guard function, remains dedicated to upholding maritime security and eliminating all forms of illegalities within its area of operation.

Muhsan added that the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders, including government agencies, private security firms, and the navy, have been instrumental in the success of this operation.

Receiving the vessel and the suspects, America, an assistant director, department of fishery, ministry of agriculture, commended the navy for the good job.

“I am receiving the vessel and the suspects from the navy. They have done a good job. The department of fishery will take further steps and the suspects may face prosecutions,” America said.