The Nigerian Navy, in collaboration with other sister agencies, on Thursday has arrested 22 seafarers over an alleged attempt to smuggle 32.9kg of cocaine from Brazil into the shores of the country.
The seafarers, who are currently being detained at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), BEECROFT, Apapa, Lagos were arrested on-board MV CHAYANEE NAREE, by a joint team led by the Nigerian Navy following an intelligent report it got from the UK Border Force.
It was gathered that the cargo ship left Santos in Brazil on September 19, 2021, and the UK Border Force discovered that the vessel was heading to Nigeria with cocaine.
Addressing newsmen on the arrest, the commander of NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Bashir Mohammed, said the sting operation was a collaborative effort between the Nigerian Navy and other Law enforcement agencies including the Interpol, the Nigerian Customs Services, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Commodore Mohammed said the team, acting on credible intelligence from Interpol, commenced tracking of the vessel, MV CHAYANEE NAREE with the Nigerian Navy Falcon Eye Maritime Domain Awareness System.
He said upon monitoring, it was discovered that the vessel departed Santos Brazil on September 19, 2021, and drifted for a week at a position about 250nm (approximately 500 kilometres) off the coast of Benin Republic from October 1 to October 8 before sailing and arrived Nigerian coastal water on October 8, 2021.
“Upon entering Nigerian waters, the vessel was intercepted by Nigerian Navy Ship EKULU and escorted to NPA’s port where she was directed to berth on October 9, 2021, and taken into custody by the Navy. Thereafter, other agencies were invited to conduct an extensive and comprehensive search of the vessel for narcotics and other contraband items.
“The suspected vessel was thoroughly searched by a combined team of Nigerian Navy, Interpol Nigeria, Nigerian Customs Service, and Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency. The search began on October 9, 2021, and at about 6 pm on October 13, 2021, the efforts of the search team were rewarded when a bag was found in the Vessel’s Cargo Compartment One (VCCO).
Also speaking, the Customs Area Comptroller, Apapa Command, Ibrahim Malanta Yusuf, said it was gratifying to point out that the success of the operation was as a result of the synergy and efforts between the Navy Interpol Nigeria, NDLEA, and the service.
He said as the investigation progresses, additional information will be released to the public through the press on the case.
“The desired end state by all parties involved is the prosecution of all those involved in this nefarious act according to the laws of the land,” he added.
Danish court returns guilty verdict on Nigerian pirate —- remands him in prison
A Danish court on Monday found a Nigerian guilty of endangering the lives of Danish military personnel in a shooting incident last November involving Denmark’s navy and a crew of suspected Nigerian pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.
However, the court declined to sentence the Nigerian, Lucky Frances, 40, despite a call from the prosecutor for a prison sentence of 12 to 15 months.
As part of international anti-piracy efforts, Denmark deployed a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea in October last year.
“The court emphasized that the 40-year-old Nigeria, together with the other perpetrators, fulfilled all the signs of piracy and had to be described as a pirate group,” Copenhagen city court said in a statement.
Frances, who was injured during a firefight with Danish navy personnel in the November clash, was taken to Denmark for prosecution in January after being treated at a hospital in Ghana.
Frances was exempted from any legal consequences due to his medical condition and the fact that charges against the other three suspected pirates had been dropped, his lawyer Jesper Storm Thygesen told Reuters.
Charges against the three other suspected Nigerian pirates were dropped in January after Denmark failed to find a country in the region to take them.
Frances will remain in custody until both sides have decided whether to appeal against the verdict, Thygesen said.
Possession of NIN by passengers now requirement for boarding trains—Sambo
” The train driver can see from a distance if there are any threats on the tracts that will enable him to match the break long before getting to the threat, and that is why I am telling you confidently,” said the Minister.
The Minister debunked the rumour that train services will resume on Monday, adding that the newly introduced measures will delay the resumption of business along the corridor for a few more days for passengers to get acquainted with the new protocol involved in train boarding before it will resume services.
“We have not said that train services will start tomorrow. I want to be very categorical about that.
“Now, we have introduced a new system before you buy a ticket. The purchase of a ticket requires you to provide a phone number and a national identification number in order to profile you because that is the beginning of the security checks. So at any point in time when a train moves from one station to another, we know who and who are on board.
“If you don’t have a NIN you are not going to board our train, it is as simple as that. If you are a minor, an adult will register for you and an adult can only register for not more than four minors.
“Now, we want to give sufficient time for the Nigerian public to listen to these two requirements, to assimilate this new system.
“So if you go and start tomorrow, a lot of people will be disgruntled. Why didn’t they tell us that this is a new way of doing it? Why didn’t they give us adequate time to do it? So we want to give you adequate time. Definitely between 3,4,5 days, certainly not more than a week.
Sambo assured Nigerians that a smooth and secured train ride is guaranteed while noting that the trains will not travel at night for now, while there is also going to be a review in train fares.
“I can assure you that we are a compassionate government and will consider the masses in the review of the train fare.”
We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.
“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snags”.
“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company, called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.
Sambo said that although only God can guarantee maximum security, he assured Nigerians that everything is in place to guarantee a secured and smooth train ride.
“We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.
“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snacks”.
The Minister assured that Secured ID would continue to handle the e-ticketing services.
“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.
The Minister was accompanied by the Minster of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye; Minister of Water Resources Eng. Suleiman Adamu; Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation Fidet Okhiria; Chairman Governing Board Nigeria Railway Corporation Ibrahim Musa.
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