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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Navy arrests owner of ship used to hijack MT MAXIMUS

The Nigerian Navy, NN yesterday disclosed that it had arrested owner of MT DEJIKUN, the ship which was used by pirates to hijack a  Saudi Arabian-owned ship, MT MAXIMUS , four months ago , off the coast of Cote D’Ivoire.

MT MAXIMUS , said to have been chattered by a South Korean company had successfully lifted 4,700 metric tonnes of AGO and was on its way when it was hijacked by nine heavily armed pirates off Cote- D’ivoire waters. The crew members were thereafter held hostage while the name on the ship was deleted and replaced with MT ELVIS-5, apparently to avoid arrest. The ship was however rescued by the NN,eleven days after,during which six suspected pirates were arrested while one of them was killed in his attempt to fire at a naval personnel. 


Two others escaped with two of the crew members on board the hijacked ship. 

Briefing newsmen yesterday at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, the Flag Officer Commanding,FOC Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai, gave the identity of owner of operational ship by the pirates as Mr Mustapher Gani . 

Gani according to the FOC, was arrested at the Seme boarder by personnel of the Forward Operating Base attached to Badagry . 

Also recovered was the ship, MT DEJIKUN which he said the fleeing pirates abandoned at the Benin Republic. The ship was brought into the country yesterday.
 The FOC who was at the jetty to receive the ship, in the company of the Commander Beecroft, Commodore Abraham Adaji, said “  We are here to receive the ship, MT DEJIKUN that has just been towed in from from   Cotonou,Benin Republic. 

“During the celebration of the Navy’s diamond jubilee, the Benin Republic Chief of Naval Staff was here and we were able to fast track the process of bringing the ship here. Apparently when they brought the ship, they were able to get some documents inside and in the course of investigation, they discovered that the owner of the ship is a Nigerian, one Mr Mustapher Gani. 

“Our boys from FOB Badagry arrested Mustapher at the Seme boarder. So, the importance of bringing this ship here is because those (suspected pirates) that were handed over to the Police are about to be prosecuted and the Police needed this vessel as one of the exhibits to be used to prosecute the pirates. Mustapher is in custody here in Nigeria, alongside the person who chattered the ship from him. Also, the two crew members that were taken hostage by the pirates have also been rescued and handed over to their nations”, Bobai said

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