Two vessels, namely MT Platform and MV Caribbean Crest, with 22 suspected crew members, have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by the Nigerian Navy, after they were arrested on different occasions and in separate locations, for further investigation and possible prosecution.
Lieutenant Commander MG Munza, Commanding officer of the Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Bonny, Rivers State, made this known in a statement, which was also confirmed by Arasah Shaka, Deputy Superintendent of the EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal Command, in a statement released on Wednesday.
This brings the number of illegal vessels arrested in Nigeria to five after the interception of MV HEROIC IDUN by the Equatorial Guinea Navy, in August, following a tip-off by the Nigerian Navy after stealing products from Nigeria’s AKPO Oil Field.
The Lt. Gen further noted that the ships do not possess any authority or certificate from any of the relevant authorities to ply the Nigerian waters.
The names of the crew members according to Lt.Gen Munza, are Emberru Michael, Inengibo Ebiegberi, Audu Michael, Gaius Ajakaiye, Igbomgbo Edward, Ndubisi Collins, James Eyak, Ezebri Ayakpo, Okokon Joseph and Wali Michael.
Others are Adediran Ayo, Kelvin White Ohre, Martins-Biyi Shola, Ekundayo Ajayi, Olowu Olusegun, Etim Samson, Michael John, Kelechi Nwafor, Popoola Felix, Ishola Adetunji, Omachekeji Sunny and Onuh Solomon.
DSE Arasah Shaka, Deputy Superintendent of the EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal Command, who also confirmed the arrest and receipt of the vessels and her crew members commended the Nigerian Navy for renewed commitment toward safeguarding Nigeria’s territorial water.
According to him, the EFCC was happy with the Navy for its collaboration in fighting economic crimes.