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BREAKING: Nigerian Navy arrests 9 stowaways aboard Spain-bound vessel

The patrol team of the Nigerian Navy ship, Beecroft, extracted nine stowaways from the rudder compartment of a Spain-bound motor tanker vessel, Lysias Valeta.

The Commander of the ship, Commodore Kolawole Oguntuga, on Monday, February 5, 2024, said the stowaways were discovered aboard the vessel trying to leave the country illegally.

Oguntuga said acting in response to intelligence indicating potential stowaways aboard a vessel on February 3, 2024, the Quick Response Team was swiftly deployed, and on arrival, nine stowaways were discovered in the rudder compartment of the Lysias Valletta.

“At approximately 12:30 p.m., the patrol team successfully recovered the stowaways. The arrested stowaways have been handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), following established protocols, for further necessary action,” he said.

Oguntuga said that the nine had been handed over to the Nigerian Immigration Service following established protocols for further necessary action.

“The proactive detection and extraction of these individuals are commendable, preventing them from life-threatening situations during such extended voyage within confined spaces,” he said.

“Additionally, this action averts potential security threats to the vessel and its crew as well as mitigating embarrassing situations,”

According to the commander, the arrested persons were Christian Ikechukwu, 32 from Imo; Dennis Commander, 36, Bayelsa; Samson Army, 24, Bayelsa; Aribo Asiko, 26, Ondo; and Shina Folorunsho, 36, Ekiti.

Others were Wisdom Egharevba, 26, from Edo; Okore Precious, 24, Delta; Ndukwe Sunday, 25, Enugu; and Agor Joseph, 57, Delta.

Oguntuga said that the arrest and handover of the stowaways underscored the Nigerian Navy’s unwavering commitment to its constitutional role under the leadership of Vice Admiral  Emmanuel Ogalla, Chief of the Naval Staff.

“We will continue to reinforce our dedication towards creating a secure maritime environment for the nation’s economic prosperity,” the commander said.