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Navy arrests 40 persons, 52 vessels over piracy-related offences

The Nigerian Navy on said on Monday that it currently had in its custody 52 vessels and 40 persons arrested for various alleged piracy- related offences.

The Flag
Officer Commanding, FOC, Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Habila Ngalabak,
disclosed this while speaking with journalists during a one-day seminar for its
officers at the Nigeria Navy Ship, NNS, Quorra, in Apapa, Lagos.

theme of the seminar is “Maritime Offences and Procedures for Arrest and
Detention of Ships in the Nigerian Maritime Environment.’

to the FOC, the seminar is to educate the officers to have a better
understanding on procedures of arresting, detaining and prosecution of vessels.

seminar is to refresh our minds on the issues of arrest, detention and
prosecution of vessels at sea.

“The seminar
could not have come at a better time than this because we are approaching
December, so we have to get ourselves alert on our duties.

“We have 52
vessels of different classes and types presently in our custody for different
offences and quite a lot of them are under litigation and investigation.

“Some are being investigated for us to know the type of offences and also the
agency that they would be sent to for prosecution,’’ he said.

the exact time of the arrest of the suspects, the FOC said he could not
categorically give specifics because over the years, “the number of arrests
keep rising.

“It’s a
situation that keeps changing. There are some that have been arrested and their
cases have been disposed of from the list and others are still joining.

“It takes time
for the prosecution to be concluded so some of them have been there for three to
four years.

“In the last two to three months, we have really had a major arrest of maritime
offenders which are piracy related offences and within this period, we have
arrested no fewer than 40 persons for one offence or the other,’’ he said.

at the seminar was the Commander, NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Okon Eyo and other
commanding officers of various naval ships.

The Nigerian
Navy is in charge of policing the nation’s territorial waters.

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