…Restates commitment to war on sea pirates
By OKOSUN DENNIS
THE Nigerian Navy has expressed its commitment to deal with pirates as the force formally handed over the hijacked ship, MT Maximus, to the representative of Super Maritime Nigeria Limited at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island at the weekend.
The Commanding Officer, NNS Beecroft, Abraham Adaji, handed over the ship with its content and other 18 documents, including the ship’s crew passports, to Rena Loenen, the Managing Director, Super Maritime.
He said the handing over of the ship is not the end of their investigations. “It has come to a point, we have to release the vessel and the crew to the original owners to proceed on their business,” he said, saying it became necessary in order not to be “further hampered by the unfortunate incident of the hijack for which they are still recovery.
Adding that the arrested pirates would be prosecuted, he reiterated that where necessary, the ship owners are willing to testify against the criminals.
On his part, Rena Loenen expressed appreciation to the NN for the rescue of the ship about 300 nautical mile off the coast of Abidjan.
The captain of the ship, Pillai Krishna from Indian, said they have no idea of the whereabouts of the remaining two crew membersan Indian and a Pakistani–adding that they have not had any call from the hijackers to pay ransom for their release. “The only option we have is to continue to pray for them,” he reiterated.
MT Maximus was hijacked by pirates off the Coast of Cote d’Ivorie as he sailed towards Sao Tome and Principe, on the 11th February and rescued on Saturday, 20th February, 2016.
Men of the Nigerian Navy Ship Okpabana complemented by NNS Sagbama and NNS Centenary blighted life out of one of the pirates and arrested six others after a gun duel on board the hijacked ship.