Eight stowaways attempting to exit the country through an Abidjan-bound ship have been apprehended by the Nigerian Navy, NNS Beecarrests patrol team on November 3, 2023.
The stowaways hid themselves inside the rudder compartment onboard a container vessel, NATAL.
The Commander, NNS Beecroft, Kolawale Oguntuga, while handing the suspects over to the Nigerian Immigration Service at the Naval Base Apapa, Lagos on Monday, Nov. 6, said they were following credible intelligence.
The commander identified the individuals as 22-year-old Jerry Benjamin; Ben Tony, 19; 16-year-old Victory Ekemele; and Ike Destiny, 17, all from Delta State; 25-year-old Ebuka Solomon, and 26-year-old Christian Eze, both from Enugu State; 25-year-old James Vincent from Edo State and David Abamiyo, 27, from Ondo State.
Oguntuga said, “In a remarkable display of sustained maritime security, the Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT’s patrol team has stalled plans of some individuals from embarking on illegal voyages, onboard a container vessel, NATAL, heading to Abidjan.
“With commendable resolve, the patrol team, on Friday, November 3, 2023, around 8.40 a.m., acting on reliable intelligence, boarded the vessel at Lagos anchorage and apprehended eight stowaways attempting to illegally exit the country through the vessel.
“Their arrest took place within the vicinity of the Lagos anchorage, while they were attempting to clandestinely exit the country via the vessel.
“The brave efforts and timely intervention of the patrol team prevented the individuals from being exposed to life-threatening situations in such a confined compartment for the long voyage as well as other security threats associated with unauthorised access to such facilities.
“In a seamless transition, the stowaways have been handed over to the appropriate authority by the established protocols for further necessary actions.”