NEWS

Navy Rescues 5 Stowaways From Spain-Bound Ship In Lagos

Personnel from the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Beecroft, saved five stowaways who had secretly boarded the MSC MARTHA, a ship bound for Spain, while it was anchored in Lagos. The individuals rescued were Effiong Okon (44), Ayewuni Daniel (27), Ajagboma Asiko (29), Adebanjo Ayewumi (23), and Christian Joseph (25).

Explaining how they were arrested, while handing them over to the Nigeria Immigration Service, yesterday, the Commander, NNS Beecroft, Commodore Kolawole Oguntuga, said: “About 11.50 pm on August 26, while on our normal routine check of vessels that were transiting in and out of Lagos harbour, we received a call from MSC MARTHA that they observed some unauthorised persons onboard the vessel.

“Immediately the information was received, we informed the FALCON EYE centre, which is the maritime Domain Awareness facility that we use in monitoring the entire maritime environment, which gave details of the information that enabled us to get the coordinates of the vessel.

“On arrival, our men boarded MSC MARTHA and recovered the unauthorised persons, that is the stowaways. We took them out of the vessel and kept them in custody.

“Upon interrogation, they admitted they boarded the vessel through the Rhoda. The Rhoda is a structure at the bottom of the vessel, which controls the direction.

Two of them initially sneaked on board. When the other three arrived, they were surprised to find the first two already there. However, as they realized they shared a common goal, they formed a bond and decided to stay on board with the intention of leaving the country for another one.

Commodore Oguntuda reported that three mobile phones, packs of biscuits, sachet water, personal belongings, and a sum of N7,900 in cash were discovered in their possession.

The stowaways, in turn, attributed their actions to the challenging economic conditions, expressing their struggles to provide for themselves and their families. For Okon, he resorted to this risky path after losing his job and exhausting all attempts to support his family.

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