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Published On: Thu, May 21st, 2020

Military arrests 10 pirates, rescue 18 Chinese, Ghanaians

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By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

The Nigerian military, has said that personnel of the Nigerian Navy, arrested 10 pirates and rescued Chinese and Ghanaian.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja, while giving update on the operations of the military in the Niger Delta, Major General, John Enenche, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, said the operation, which took place on 15 of May 2020, involved a Chinese vessel, MV HAILUFANG II which was attacked by pirates off the Coast of Cote D’ Ivoire.

He said the pirates took control of the vessel and directed the vessel towards Nigerian Waters. “The vessel had 18 crew members comprising Chinese, Ghanaians and Ivorians. The Nigerian Navy was alerted of the pirate attack and immediately, the Nigerian Navy Ship Nguru was dispatched to intercept the vessel. On interception of the vessel at about 140 nautical miles south of Lagos Fairway Buoy, the pirates refused to comply to the orders of the Nigerian Navy Ship, hence the Nigerian Navy had to conduct an opposed boarding of the vessel. All the ship crew were safely rescued, while the 10 pirates were also arrested.”

He added that operation Delta Safe, dismantled illegal refining sites around Ugbodede, Uwakeno, Opumami, Banga Communities and around Escravos general area in
Warri South LGA of Delta State.

“Nigerian Navy also recovered a wooden boat with 3 coolers, 136 dugout pits, 201 surface metal storage tanks and 174 ovens laden with about 14,434 barrels of suspected stolen crude oil as well as 1,385,000 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO.

“The storage facilities were dismantled. No arrest was made as operators of the illegal refining sites fled on sighting the team. Meanwhile, the illegal refining sites have been earmarked for swamp buggy operation.

“Similarly, on 11 May 20, Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS intercepted 3 large wooden boats around Madangho and Sara Creek in Warri South LGA of Delta State. The boats were laden with about 12.6 barrels of suspected stolen crude oil and 43,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO. Equally, on 12 May 20, the team discovered 7 refining units, 13 metal storage tanks and 4 dugout pits with about 440.3 barrels of stolen crude oil and 180,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO. The boats, items and products discovered in the course of the operation were impounded.

“In the same vein, on 11 May 20, Forward Operating Base Ibaka patrol team around Effiat Waterways intercepted an abandoned wooden boat laden with 310 x 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled from the Republic of Cameroon. Similarly, on 14 May 20, the Base patrol team intercepted an abandoned medium size wooden boat laden with about 67 drums of products suspected to be PMS around Enwang Creek. The seized bags of foreign parboiled rice, boat and drums of suspected PMS are currently in Forward Operating Base Ibaka custody.”

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