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Navy arrests 130 vessels for maritime crime

Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

The Nigerian Navy has arrested about 130 vessels for crimes perpetrated in the maritime sector and other activities between 2018 and February, 28, 2019.

According to the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, the arrests were made following the recent enhancement of the navy’s surveillance capability.

He stated this while hosting the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, who led a delegation to the Abuja headquarters of the Nigerian Navy to seek improved partnership between both organisations.

Responding to requests earlier made by the NSC boss, Ibas said, “Of course, in 2018, we arrested 40 vessels and have in custody over 150 persons, who we have handed over to the various prosecuting agencies.

“For last year alone and so far this year, we have over 130 vessels that were seized or arrested for maritime crime.”

Earlier in his address, Bello observed that one of the major challenges in the maritime sector was security.

“We have received various complaints from the shipping companies, which have been forced to provide their own security to escort their vessels to the ports, especially the eastern ports. In spite of their efforts, between 2017 and 2018, there were 88 attacks in the Niger Delta,” he said.

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