Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft arrested 97 suspected stowaways onboard different foreign merchant ships that have been in the country to discharge charges over the past year.
Before they were intercepted, the suspects were trying to travel illegally to different European countries.
On Saturday, July 26, 2021, three suspects were arrested aboard the MT SCF ALPHINE near the Lagos Anchorage.
Commodore Bashir Mohammed, Commander, NNS BEECROFT, handed over three of the suspects to officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service and said they are part of efforts by the Nigerian Navy to purge the nation’s maritime space of illegalities, including human trafficking.
Commodore Mohammed revealed that the base’s proactive patrols and pro-active patrols in the last year led to the arrest of 97 stowaways in Lagos waters, and that they have all been handed over to Nigeria Immigration Services.
“Relatingly, the Base Patrol unit from MT SCF ALPHINE was tasked with apprehending three stowaways around the anchorage in Lagos on Saturday, July 26, 2021.”.
A preliminary investigation by the base revealed that the stowaways accessed the vessel with the intention of illegally migrating to Europe.
“In accordance with the Standard Operating Procedure, the suspected stowaways were handed over to Nigeria Immigration Services on Tuesday, 29 June 2021, which was witnessed by the Nigerian Ports Authority Security Team represented by Mr. Bukar Kaumi.”
Additionally, the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT reiterated the Base’s commitment to securing Nigeria’s territorial waters in line with Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo’s Strategic Directive of 2021-5.
As partners in maintaining a safe maritime environment, he urged members of the public, especially the host communities, to kindly furnish the base with credible information to help curtail the activities of criminal elements and economic saboteurs.