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Nigerian Navy intercepts 14 stowaways aboard vessel in Lagos



The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday, announced the arrest of 14 stowaways onboard a motor tanker, UOG Constantine, at the Lagos Road Stead.

Commodore Kolawole Oguntuga, the Commander, NNS Beecroft and Maritime Component Commander of Operation Awatse, who disclosed this in a statement issued by the Base Information Officer, NNS Beecroft, Sub-Lieutenant H. A Collins, the stowaways were arrested on December 15, by operatives of the recently launched Operation Awatse.

The suspects, according to the statement include Osas Nusakare, Victor Egoma, Okechi Chika, Stephen Mmuta, Ibrahim Hassan, Ebuka Onura and Okonkwo Gift.

Others are Emmanuel Godbless, Ayefuwe Collins, Alfred Ese, Abubakar Ibrahim, Godspower Moses, Aki Opeoluwa and Oluwatosin Sunday.

The statement noted that two of the suspects had previously been arrested for a similar offence a month ago.

“In a proactive and resolute demonstration to sustain maritime security, the patrol team of Nigerian Navy Ship Beecroft, successfully intercepted and extracted 14 stowaways from a motor tanker to UOG Constantine at Lagos Road Stead on Friday, December 15, 2023,” the statement reads.

“The timely action was prompted by intelligence received from the Maritime Domain Awareness Facility, the Falcon Eye Alignment. Tactical teams swiftly boarded the vessel and discovered movements within the rudder compartment.

“Two of the apprehended stowaways had previously been arrested for a similar offence just a month ago, emphasising the persistence of such illicit activities.

“However, the brave efforts of the patrol team averted life-threatening conditions for the individuals confined in the vessel’s compartment, emphasising the Nigerian Navy’s commitment to maritime safety.

“The arrested stowaways were promptly handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service following established protocols for further necessary action.

“The incident underscores the Nigerian Navy’s unwavering commitment to its constitutional role under the leadership of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral EI Ogalla, reinforcing the dedication to creating a secure maritime environment for the nation’s economic prosperity.”

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