Posted by News Express | 2 April 2016 | 2,431 times
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has tracked an oil vessel ‘MT Sampatiki’ which was hijacked by sea pirates within Nigerian territorial waters.
The Director General of the Agency on Friday, confirmed the development to Channels Television.
Mr Dakuku Peterside said that a combined team comprising the NIMASA, the Nigerian Navy, the Interpol and others are working hard to identify and arrest those behind the criminal act on Nigerian waters.
“On March 26, we picked up information that a Liberian flagged ship has been attacked on our territorial waters.
“We immediately swung into action based on the direction from the honourable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi. We contacted the Nigerian Navy, the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime as well as the Interpol,” he said.
Mr Peterside explained that as a fall out of the abduction, a 24-hour surveillance team has been mobilized to patrol the waters especially off the coast of Qua Iboe and Brass where the incidences are rampant.
“As at this morning (Friday), the Togolese Maritime authorities were about to board the vessel to interview crew members to get further information that would help and aid us in locating the five crew members that were abducted within our territorial waters.
“Our idea is to shorten the response (time) whenever this kind of thing occurs, but we are optimistic that this would be the last time it would occur because we intend to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering on our waterways.
“Most importantly, we are about sending a bill after a consultation with stakeholders – a draft bill on anti-piracy activities on our waterways and we hope that would give us the framework to fight piracy.
“We also reached out to neghbouring maritime authorities and I can confirm to you that our effort is yielding results.
“We also deployed our satellite surveillance system and as we speak, we have located the vessel offshore Lome in Togo,” he said. (Channels TV)
•Photo shows NIMASA DG Dakuku Peterside.
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