23 Oct 2012

The Nigerian Navy over the weekend arrested a merchant vessel, Myre Seadiver Aviatu, marked E5U2529 and flying a Dutch flag.

The ship loaded with arms and ammunition had 15 foreign crew members on board, majority of whom were Russians. The men have already been taken into custody.

Currently anchored at the Nigerian Navy Beecroft Habour, Apapa, the vessel had left Cook Island in the South Pacific and arrived the nation’s water at about 10.30 a.m on Sunday.

Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ameen Ikioda, who confirmed the seizure yesterday said his men recovered assorted AK 49 riffles and Benelli MRI 20 barrel riffles. Also 14 AK 47 riffles, 20 barrel riffles and 8,598 ammunition.

Ikioda said: “The vessel was arrested by NN patrol boats at the Lagos Roadstead on suspicion of carrying arms and ammunition on board.”

“In pursuant of part of our activities in Lagos which is to ensure we create a conducive maritime environment, anytime we see anything trying to infringe that part of our effort, we arrest it. That is what led to the arrest of this ship.”

He added that investigations to unravel circumstances surrounding the ship has commenced.

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