EFCC Arraigns 26 Suspected Pirates, Vessel

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in Lagos has arraigned 26 suspected pirates alongside a company, Sam Pam Nigeria Limited, and a Vessel, MV Neso II, before Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi.

According to a statement by the Head, Media & Publicity of the agency, Wilson Uwujaren, the suspects were arraigned on two-counts bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products.

Some of them include: Frances Onyeama, Adebayo M. Charles, Melvin A. Jack, Omogoye Wasiu Bolaji, Umoren Harrison Daniel, Oloyede Y. Ademola, Arichibong Aniete James, Richard Essien David, Oke Asaki and Mike Simon.

Others are: Godswill Emmanuel Umoh, Edu Fidelis, Miebaka Iyaka, Kinsley Terry, Austine Abararowei, Udom Victor Jerome, Victor Uchendu, Firstman Job, Nelson Sokarabo Solomon, Emomotimi F. Watchman, Iwuoha Okechukwu Victor, Ogerugba Patrick (a.k.a Odafe) Emmanuel Eze, Inyang Ruyie Grace and Paul Obi.

One of the counts reads, “that you MV Neso II, Frances Onyeama, Adebayo M. Charles, Melvin A. Jack, Omogoye Wasiu Bolaji, Umoren Harrison Daniel, Oloyede Y. Ademola, Arichibong Aniete James, Richard Essien David, Oke Asaki, Mike Simon, Godswill Emmanuel Umoh, Edu Fidelis, Miebaka Iyaka, Kinsley Terry, Austine Abararowei, Udom Victor Jerome, Victor Uchendu, Firstman Job, Nelson Sokarabo Solomon, Emomotimi F. Watchman, Iwuoha Okechukwu Victor, Ogerugba Patrick (a.k.a Odafe) Emmanuel Eze, Inyang Ruyie Grace, Paul Obi and Sam Pam Nigeria Limited sometime within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire amongst yourselves to deal in Petroleum Products off the Coast of Gabon and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a) and (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised Edition) 2004 and Punishable under the same Law”.

According to the statement, the suspects who were arrested by the Nigerian Navy at the Lagos Anchorage Area and handed over to the EFCC on October 14, 2019, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges proffered against them.

In view of their plea, prosecuting counsel, M.K Bashir, asked the court for a trial date.

Meanwhile, counsel to the defendants, Adegboyega Adetunji, informed the court of a pending bail application and urged the judge to grant his clients bail.

Although the prosecution counsel opposed the application, Justice Liman, thereafter, granted bail to the 26 defendants in the sum of N2 million each and one surety in like sum.

The surety must have property within the Jurisdiction of the Court.

He added that the Vessel (MV Neso II) should produce insurance bond from a first class insurance company.

Thereafter, the court adjourned hearing of the matter to 9, 11 and 13, December, 2019 and remanded 25 of them in prison custody and one in the EFCC custody, pending the perfection of their bail conditions.

‘Pirates’ Kidnap 10 Turkish Sailors Off Nigeria Coast

 

Ten Turkish sailors on a cargo ship were kidnapped by armed men off the coast of Nigeria, Turkish state media reported Tuesday.

The Turkish-flagged Paksoy-I cargo vessel, operated by shipping company Kadioglu Denizcilik, was attacked on Monday night, state news agency Anadolu said.

A Kadioglu Denizcilik employee who wished to remain anonymous told AFP that 10 Turkish sailors were kidnapped among 18 crew members on board the ship.

The employee denied local media reports that two sailors had since been freed.

READ ALSO: Three Herdsmen Arrested For Allegedly Killing Farmer In Ogun

A company statement cited by Turkish media said the ship was attacked by “pirates” on its way from Cameroon to the Ivory Coast. It was carrying no freight.

Turkey’s ruling party spokesman Omer Celik said a ship with Turkish crew was “seized” off Nigeria, but did not provide further details.

Celik said Turkish authorities were following the issue closely.

Pirates normally seize sailors for ransom. Nigeria reported 14 pirate attacks in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 22 in the same period in 2018.

An International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report in April attributed the drop to the Nigerian navy’s increased efforts to “actively respond to reported incidents by dispatching patrol boats.”

AFP

Pirates Abduct Six Sailors From Oil Tanker

 

 

Pirates off Nigeria’s oil-rich south have stormed a small oil tanker, kidnapping six sailors, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said on Thursday, the latest in a string of such attacks.

The Apecus, a Palau-flagged petroleum products tanker of 3,100 deadweight tonnes, was attacked on Friday as it was anchored off Bonny Island, south of oil hub of Port Harcourt, according to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre.

“An anchored tanker was boarded by unauthorised persons who kidnapped six crew and escaped,” the piracy watchdog said, adding that the rest of the crew were reported to be safe. No details of their nationalities were given.

“The Nigerian Navy was notified and an investigation into the incident has been launched,” the IMB added. The Navy was not immediately available for comment.

Pirates normally seize sailors for ransom.

READ ALSO: Senate Invites IGP Over Nigeria’s Security Situation

Nigerian pirates recently hijacked another merchant ship, robbing the vessel’s crew. The unidentified ship was freed in the Gulf of Guinea by a Spanish warship on April 9 after four days.

Days later, on April 15, four armed men boarded another anchored oil tanker, also in the Bonny River area, but Nigerian naval guards onboard fought the pirates off.

Nigeria has been a hotspot for piracy incidents over the past decade. The country reported 14 pirate attacks for the first quarter of 2019, compared to 22 in the same period in 2018.

A report by IMB early this month attributed the decline to the Navy’s increased efforts to “actively respond to reported incidents by dispatching patrol boats.”

AFP

Greek Citizens, American Among Nine Suspected Pirates Arrested In Nigeria

Greek Citizens, American Among Nine Suspected Pirates Arrested In Nigeria
The suspects

 

Nine suspected pirates comprising three Greece citizens, an American and five blacks have been arrested during a joint operation by the Nigerian Navy and United States Coast Guard.

The suspects were nabbed when their vessel was stopped within the Nigerian waters while the navy combed the Western Naval Command area of the Gulf of Guinea, under ‘Operation Junction Rain’.

Upon a search of the vessel, the naval operatives recovered four military assault rifles (Bernelli MR-1) loaded with magazines, about 1,000 live ammunition in a box and other hidden exhibits including various communication gadgets, which they earlier denied they had while being interrogated.

The Officer in tactical command of the operation, Commodore Dickson Olisemenogor, said further investigation to unravel others behind the illegal operations of the vessel on the Nigerian waters would continue and those found culpable would be handed over to the concerned agencies for prosecution.

He added that another barge with 10 crew members suspected to be oil thieves was stopped and the crew members were arrested during the operation.

 

Hollywood Must Pay To Chase Internet Pirates, Court Rules

 

Canada’s high court on Friday ruled that Hollywood studios and other copyright holders must pay internet service providers to chase down Canadians who illegally download movies or other online content.

The decision will make slightly more difficult efforts to fight infringements under Canada’s new 2015 copyright law.

The amount that internet service providers should be reimbursed to dig up information on subscribers suspected of infringing on copyrights, however, must still be determined at a future court hearing.

The case was triggered by a group of film producers who got together to fight illegal sharing of their films.

Led by Voltage Pictures, the production company behind “The Hurt Locker” and “Dallas Buyers Club,” sought to know the identity of a customer of Canadian internet service provider Rogers so that they could sue that person. Eventually they planned to sue about 55,000 more Rogers customers, so this was the first of many requests.

Rogers collected the information, but asked the producers to pay a fee of Can$100 (US$77) for it.

In court, Voltage argued that charging for the information would make it cost-prohibitive to track down tens of thousands of alleged law breakers.

Rogers says it receives more than two million requests from rights holders per year to send notices to customers alleging breaches in an effort to discourage ongoing infringement.

Taking the additional step to identify those customers to rights holders risked multiplying its administrative costs, it argued.

The Supreme Court in its ruling said Rogers is entitled to “reasonable costs” for complying with so-called Norwich orders, and sent the matter to a lower court to determine the amount.

AFP

Again, Suspected Pirates Attack Bayelsa Community

Another attack has occurred in Bayelsa State, barely 24-hours after gunmen suspected to be pirates attacked a commercial boat en route Yenagoa, the state capital.

Two passengers including a pregnant woman were shot in the Thursday attack when the pirates attacked the boat travelling from Koluama to Yenagoa.

The fresh attack occurred on Friday morning by 8:45 a.m. as the suspected sea pirates attacked a commercial boat at Okobotuo area, along Akassa-Yenagoa waterways.

They carted away a 115 horsepower boat engine at Okobotuo Area along Akassa-Yenagoa waterways as they shot into the air, scaring residents who scampered into safety.

READ ALSO: Bureau De Change Operator Bags Three Years Imprisonment For Fraud

These incidents which occurred in quick succession has created fear amongst residents of the state.

The Commissioner of Police in the State, Don Awunah, who spoke with Channels Television blamed the attacks on increased insecurity on the waterway and the riverine topography of Bayelsa State.

Bayelsa is 80% water and 20% land. So we are more likely to have crime that is water based and increase in sea piracy. We are on top of it. We are collaborating with other agencies including the Navy, Army, JTF and Civil Defence,” he said.

He also called for calm amongst residents, saying he believes the collaborative efforts of all security agencies in the state will nib the ugly situation in the bud.

Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa State, Don Awunah.

Suspected Pirates Shoot Pregnant Woman In Bayelsa

Suspected Pirates Shoot Pregnant Woman In Bayelsa
File photo

 

Gunmen suspected to be sea pirates have attacked a Yenagoa bound commercial boat, shooting two passengers including a pregnant woman in Bayelsa State.

Channels Television gathered on Thursday that the pregnant woman, known as Gulu Leghemo, was shot in the stomach and has been taken to a medical facility in Koluama II community.

She was taken alongside a young man simply known as Billy that was also shot by the suspected sea pirates.

The boat was said to be travelling from Koluama to Yenagoa, the state capital, when the pirates attacked the passengers between Koluama I and II axis of the waterways.

Chairman of the Bayelsa State chapter of the Nigerian Maritime Workers Union, Llord Sese, confirmed the incident.

He said apart from shooting the passengers, the pirates also went away with a 200 horsepower engine belonging to one Sunday Leghemo, as well as the personal belongings of the passengers.

Sese also confirmed that the robbed passengers have been rescued and are now seeking refuge at Koluama II.

He also informed Channels Television that suspected pirates have blocked the Akassa route of the waterways on Thursday morning, preventing commuters from travelling to Yenagoa.

Pirates Kidnap Captain, Crew Of German Ship In Port Harcourt

Pirates Kidnap Captain, Crew Of German Ship In Port Harcourt

Six crew members from a German-owned container ship, including the captain, have been kidnapped off the coast of southern Nigeria, maritime security analysts said.

The Sea Guardian consultancy said the Demeter “was attacked by pirates” at about 7:00 am on Saturday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

“Pirates boarded the ship, kidnapped six crew, including (the) master, chief officer, second officer, second engineer, bosun, and cook,” it said on its website www.sguardian.com Monday.

Reports suggested the attack was carried out by eight pirates in a black speedboat, it added.

The Demeter had been travelling from the capital of Equatorial Guinea, Malabo, to the Liberian capital Monrovia at the time.

The Liberia-flagged vessel is owned by German shipping firm the Peter Doehle Group.

The MTI Network, a crisis communications firm that deals with incidents in the shipping industry said the attack happened as the ship entered the port of Onne.

“All of the 12 remaining seafarers of the Demeter are safe and unhurt and the vessel has proceeded to safe waters,” it said in a statement.

The Peter Doehle group said it would not disclose the nationalities of the crew members taken “for security reasons”.

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has recorded 121 piracy incidents in international waters this year, including shootings, attempted kidnappings and hijackings of ships.

It described in a report published last week that the Gulf of Guinea remained a “hot spot for attacks”, despite a fall in the number of incidents elsewhere in the world.

“The waters off Nigeria remain particularly risky,” said the head of the IMB Pottengal Mukundan, pointing to the waters off the state of Bayelsa, Bonny Island, and Port Harcourt.

Mukundan said there had been an increase in reported hijackings and kidnappings, although much more had not been reported.

The IMB said, “39 of the 49 crewmembers kidnapped globally occurred off Nigerian waters in seven separate incidents”.

“Other crew kidnappings in 2017 have been reported 60 nautical miles (69 miles, 111 kilometres) off the coast of Nigeria,” it added.

AFP

Disney’s ‘Pirates’ Rolls Out Red Carpet For Rare China Premiere

 Walt Disney Co’s latest outing of “Pirates of the Caribbean” rolled out the red carpet in Shanghai on Thursday in a rare world premiere in China for a Hollywood blockbuster as U.S. producers look to woo moviegoers in the Middle Kingdom.

In the shadow of Disney’s newest theme park that opened last year, hundreds of “Pirates” fans lined up to catch a glimpse of stars Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Javier Bardem ahead of an afternoon viewing.

The China premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” puts it among a small number of U.S. films to screen for the first time in China. Films like “Point Break” and “Iron Man 3” have premiered or opened earlier in China.

The trend reflects the growing influence of China’s army of 1.4 billion potential cinema-goers, who are increasingly driving global box office sales.

U.S. studios are increasingly looking to China to boost global revenues, though they face issues from a local quota system for imported films to questions over censorship.

China’s box office slowed markedly last year, but grew at its fastest pace in more than a year in April, driven by Universal’s high-octane action movie “The Fate of the Furious”.

National Shipping Line To Operate On PPP Basis, NIMASA Says

NIMASA, Peterside DakukuNigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says the proposed national shipping line will be managed on a Public–Private Partnership (PPP) basis.

The Director General of NIMASA, Mr Peterside Dakuku, disclosed this to reporters on Monday in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.

Making clarifications on the proposed national shipping line, Mr Dakuku said funding of the national carrier would come from the private sector.

He also stated that Nigeria has signed to several protocols that would help detect, rid and tackle pirates as well as security breaches on its waterways.

Technical Aid Corps Recruits 1,500 Professionals As Volunteers

The Directorate of the Technical Aid Corps (TAC) has commenced its 14th biennial orientation course for approximately 1,500 volunteers who will be traveling to different part of the world.

The volunteers who are professionals specialized in different fields would be sent to 43 less developed countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, for two years.

They will work in various fields of endeavour, to impart some Nigerian expertise to their host countries, as part of efforts to contribute to these countries’ development.

Speaking at the opening session of the orientation course in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the Director-General of the Directorate of the Technical Aid Corps, Pius Osunyikanmi, commended the Federal Government for showing renewed interest in the programme by increasing the number of participants from 200 to over 1,500.

He added that the volunteers were chosen through a competitive process that was purely merit driven.

The Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, however advised the volunteers to see the programme as an opportunity for them to learn from the practices in those countries. He also highlighted the possibility of building relationships that would add value to their future plans.

“Some of you who are smart would make lifelong contacts that will change your lives completely, in terms of opportunities”, he said.

The Technical Aid Corps, TAC, was established by the military administration of Ibrahim Babangida in 1987. Volunteers are recruited strictly on the basis of request from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, ACP.

Ukranian, Greek Sailors Kidnapped Off Nigeria’s Waters

Pirates have attacked an oil products tanker off the coast of Nigeria and kidnapped its Ukrainian captain and a Greek engineer, Greek coast guard officials said on Tuesday.

The 6,500 ton Marshall Islands-flaggged MT ALTHEA with 18 crew on board was attacked by a group of 10 pirates, the officials said. The ship’s manager, Piraeus-based Medtankers Management, confirmed the attack.

“We are doing everything we can for their release,” an official at the firm said on condition of anonymity, adding that so far, no ransom demand had been received.

“They kidnapped the two men but did not touch the cargo (oil) or injure anyone.”

The ship was attacked late on Monday around 35 nautical miles off the oil-producing Niger Delta coastline, a Nigerian security source said. The armed pirates fled with the two hostages in a speedboat, the source said.

The Nigerian navy is investigating, a spokesman told Reuters news agency.

Pirate attacks off Nigeria have jumped by a third this year as ships passing through West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, a major commodities route, have come under threat from gangs wanting to snatch cargoes and crews.

Unlike the waters off Somalia on the east African coast, where ships now speed through with armed guards on board, there is little protection for many vessels which have to anchor off West African countries to do business.

This makes them targets for criminals and raises insurance costs. Kidnapped sailors and oil workers taken in Nigerian waters are usually released after a ransom is paid.