The Nigerian Navy, NN, has arrested a ship flying a Dutch flag, loaded with arms and ammunition. Also arrested were the 15 foreign crew members.
The merchant vessel, Myre Seadiver Aviatu, marked E5U2529, was arrested, weekend, during a patrol of the waterways by personnel of the Western Naval Command.
The merchant vessel which is currently anchored at the Nigerian Navy Beecroft Habour, Apapa, as gathered, left Cook Island in the South Pacific and arrived the nation’s water at about 10.30 a.m.
The destination of the ship could, however, not be ascertained asthe Navy said investigation was still on.
Confirming the arrest, yesterday, Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ameen Ikioda, said there were assorted AK 47 riffles and Benelli MRI 20 barrel riffles. 14 AK 47 riffles, 20 barrel riffles and 8,598 ammunition, according to him, were recovered inside the ship, adding that majority of the crew members were Russians.
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.”
Preliminary investigation, according to him, showed that the shipcame in without due certification, noting: ”Secondly, the ship also had weapons which is an infringement on the country’s law.”
Information gathered from the ship’s website revealed that it was built in 1965 and that its operation had been suspended following the arrest.