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Navy recovers vessel used for Feb 11 hijack, arrests owner

The Nigerian Navy, on Wednesday, said it had recovered a vessel that was used in the February 11 hijack of an oil tanker by some suspected pirates.

The Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Fergusson Bobai, told newsmen, in Lagos, that his men also arrested the owner of the offending MT Dejikun along with an accomplice.

MT Maximus was hijacked on February 11 off the coast of Cote d’Ivoire but the Navy arrested the suspected pirates after a gun battle that left one dead.

The pirates had hijacked the oil vessel, laden with 4,700 tonnes of diesel fuel, and held the crew hostage until they were rescued by the Navy on February 22.

Bobai said that the offending vessel – MT Dejikun – which was used in the February 11 hijack was vandalised and abandoned off the coast of Benin Republic.

”The Beninese Navy discovered there was nobody onboard the ship and took custody of the vessel.

”When they got the ship, they were able to recover some documents of the ship and during investigation, it was discovered that the owner of the ship is a Nigerian.

”The Navy operatives at the Forward Operating Base in Badagry arrested the owner of the vessel along Seme border,” the Naval Commander said.

Bobai said that the person that chartered the vessel from the owner was also arrested, adding that the vessel and the suspects would be handed over to the police for further investigation.

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