The Nigerian Navy said it has successfully foiled an attempted hijack of a Merchant Vessel, MV UAL HOUSTON around Bonny Fairway Buoy in Rivers State.
A statement from the force said the incident occurred on Thursday July 13, 2017 at about 7.45am.
The statement from the navy spokesman, Captain Suleiman Dahun said six suspected sea robbers boarded the vessel but were unable to access the ship’ s living quarters, bridge or machinery room as the ship was on lockdown by the crew.
Captain Dahun said that subsequently, on receipt of the ship’s distress call, the Nigerian Navy’s Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Bonny dispatched a boat to rescue the vessel.
“On sighting the naval patrol boat, the robbers abandoned their hijack plot and fled. Preliminary investigation revealed that no crew member was abducted or any item stolen during the attack.”
The statement further said that the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) PATHFINDER has in a separate incident, discovered and destroyed seven illegal refineries around Bolo Creek and Isaka axis in Rivers State. The Navy’s statement said the illegal refineries destroyed at Bolo Creek had several storage tanks and two wooden boats laden with about 80,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and 65,000 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO).
Similarly, a patrol team deployed by the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Bonny arrested a vessel, MT LEADERSHIP around Onne axis for conducting illegal bunkering operations. The vessel was arrested receiving unspecified amount of petroleum products suspected to be illegally refined AGO from a barge without valid naval approval. The vessel had 12 crewmen while 16 men were on the barge. The vessel and the barge are currently under the custody of the Base while investigation is ongoing.