Nigerian Navy arrests vessel involved in illegal activities-Official

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Five days after the flag off ceremony of Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS 2022 by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo on 11 March 2022, the Nigerian Navy arrested MT QUEEN OF PEACE, a Vessel of Interest for over a year.

In a statement signed by Commodore  AO Ayo-Vaughan, the vessel was last sighted at the Trans Amadi Jetty in Port Harcourt, before she switched off her Automatic Identification System (AIS) and proceeded on 3 weeks of dark (unknown) activities but was successfully intercepted South West of Bonny Fair Way Buoy on 15 March 2022.

The dark activities of the vessel was monitored by the Nigerian Navy Falcon Eye Surveillance System and Nigerian Navy Ship EKULU was detached from the Exercise OBANGAME to intercept and arrest the vessel. Subsequent interrogation revealed that the vessel with 14 crew members onboard was laden with unspecified quantity of crude oil.

Additionally, the vessel was unable to provide appropriate documentation from the point of loading as well as documents and authority of her intended operations. These therefore led to the arrest of the vessel and she is currently at Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base BONNY for further investigation and possible hand-over for prosecution.

Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS 2022 has also seen the arrest of seven Beninoise in a long wooden boat fully loaded with unspecified petroleum products from questionable sources. It would be recalled that the Exercise is the largest multinational maritime exercise in West Africa with 32 countries participating in their respective maritime area
from 11 – 18 March 2022.

 




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