The Nigerian Navy have arrested 11 Nigerians and one Ghanaian who allegedly sneaked into a Spain-bound vessel, MV African Osprey.
The stowaways whose ages were between 12 and 26, reportedly hid inside an unused cabin in the ship said to have been laden with hazardous materials.
The suspects were identified as Mustapha Ayinla, Bernard Amadi, Azinabor Gideon, Isaac Delight, Daniel Timothy, Justice Agburum, Anthony Oladipupo, Emma Okon, Idowu Adeyemi, Philip Israel, Holly Osatwie and Boniface Douglas, a Ghanaian.
Recovered from them , were kegs of water which they intended to drink during the trip, snacks and cassava flakes (garri).
The rescue of the stowaways according to the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ilesanmi Alade was carried out in conjunction with personnel of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency,NIMASA, even as he reiterated the Nigerian Navy’s drive to make the nation’s waterways safe for legitimate businesses to thrive.
He however appealed to ship owners and seafarers to ensure that thorough security checks were conducted onboard prior to departure from Harbour.
Commander Beecroft, Commodore Emmanuel Uwadiae, while explaining how they were arrested said midway into the journey the suspects who apparently inhaled the chemical substance, started banging frantically on the door of the cabin, thereby attracting the cabin crew.
“The Nigerian Navy took custody of 12 suspected stowaways at the Lagos anchorage. The suspects were found onboard MV African Osprey which had cast off from Tin-Can Port Apapa on May 19, 2014, he said.