Posted on October 21, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis

Last month the Nigerian Navy intercepted a vessel that had been escorting an oil tanker through Nigerian territorial waters, and arrested 7 individuals for providing armed security services to ships near Port Harcourt.

According to a Nigerian Navy spokesman, they received a tip that the “rogue vessel” WORKHORSE, was providing security services to the Oil Tanker, OSAMEWE, that was transiting through the region.

The Navy proceeded to immediately deploy a gunboat to Bonny anchorage, in order to intercept the vessel that had been escorting the oil tanker.

Upon arrival, they boarded the ship and discovered that the 7 individuals on board did not have the appropriate permits to act as security personnel and proceeded to arrest them.

“In line with the Nigerian Navy policing role on the maritime domain, on Sept. 6, we got tip-off of a vessel carrying out illegal escort duty for an oil tanker.

“Based on this intelligence, we deployed NNS Pathfinder patrol gunboats to Bonny Anchorage to make the arrest.

“On reaching there, our patrol elements arrested seven crew members on board MV Workhorse for providing illegal armed escort to an oil tanker, MV Osamewe.

“The suspects could not provide the appropriate permit to operate as a private maritime logistic support security vessel at the time of the arrest.

“We have concluded our investigation and we are hereby handing over the vessel and seven suspects to NSCDC.

“The NSCDC will conduct further investigation and possibly prosecute the suspects in court,” said Cdr. Murtala Rogo, Base Operations Officer onboard the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder.

Currently, it's considered a crime for security personnel to provide armed escort services for vessels transiting through Nigerian territorial waters.  

The Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) are the only two organizations allowed to offer such services to merchant vessels transiting through the region.

Posted in Security , Nigeria , Piracy , Nigerian Navy

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