MV BLU-SHARK, with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Number: 8767783, clandestinely escaped from Port Gentil Gabon without clearance from the Gabonese Maritime Judicial and Customs authorities, and has been arrested by the Nigerian Navy off Calabar Waters.

Confirming the arrest on Friday in Abuja, the Director Naval Information (DINFO), Commodore Aiyuwor Adams-Aliu said the ship was intercepted by Nigerian Navy Ship OSE (NNS OSE) following the alert received by the NN before deploying her Maritime Domain Awareness facilities.

The vessel was successfully arrested at about 1152 hours on 6th May, 2024 at Latitude 040 49 929’E, Longitude 008017 602’E, off Calabar waters.

Explaining the circumstances that led to the arrest, Commodore Adams-Aliu gave an insight. “On 2nd May 2024, the Multinational Maritime Co-ordination Center Zone D issued an alert message for a search and possible arrest of MV BLU-SHARK with IMO number 8767783.

“The vessel was alleged to have escaped from Port Gentil Gabon on 2nd May 2024 at about 11:35 pm without obtaining necessary customs clearance documents from the Gabonese Maritime, Judicial and Customs authorities.

He further stated that the arrest of MV BLU-SHARK is part of existing collaborative efforts between regional maritime security agencies in the Gulf of Guinea under the Yaoundé Code of Conduct on Maritime Security in the Region.

Reiterating that NN action aligned with the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla Strategic end state towards a safe and secure maritime environment to enhance the Nation’s Blue Economy.

However, Cdre Adams-Aliu further revealed that the NN would conduct preliminary investigations to ascertain the veracity of the allegation to handle the vessel in line with the dictates of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct.

While commending officers and ratings of NN OSE, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla lauded their professionalism leading to apprehending the alleged fleeing vessel.

The CNS also reiterates the Navy’s commitment to collaborating with neighbouring countries to combat transnational maritime crimes in the region.

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