Four stowaways trying to illegally leave the country on board a container vessel (TEME EXPRESS) enroute to Dubai have been arrested.
The Navy disclosed the arrest in a statement on Wednesday, saying the stowaways were nabbed on Monday by the NNS BEECROFT team during a patrol at the Lagos anchorage.
According to the ship’s commander Kolawole Oguntuga, the stowaways were found inside the rudder compartment of the vessel with bags of snacks and satchet water.
Oguntuga said that the maritime domain awareness facility, the Falcon Eye Alignment, played a critical role in providing information that led to their arrest.
“Tactical teams were dispatched to the vessel at Lagos Anchorage, sequel to receiving information from the maritime domain awareness facility,” he said.
“Upon arrival, the teams noticed movements inside the rudder compartment, consequently, the teams boarded the ship, located and extracted the four stowaways.
“The stowaways were found with a bag filled with snacks and another polybag containing sachet water.”
The commander explained that the stowaways had been handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in accordance with established protocol, adding that they put themselves in a life-threatening situation, especially as they were in a confined space for an extended duration.
“They also present myriad security threats to the crew with dire consequences on the nation’s image,” Oguntuga said.
He also reiterated the Navy’s commitment to sustaining maritime security for Nigeria’s economic prosperity.