General News of Monday, 16 April 2018
The Ghana Navy has seized three (3) more vessels in Ghanaian waters at Takoradi in the Western Region, for allegedly engaging in illegal activities.
This comes less than 24 hours after the Navy seized two Nigerian vessels around Tema.
The three ships were found illegally transferring oil products to each other, and were immediately impounded and their occupants arrested.
According to the Chief Staff Officer at the Navy Headquarters, Commodore Issah Yakubu, although the ownership of the ships and the number of crew on-board are not immediately known, investigations will commence soon to get further details about them.
“It was very clear on our monitoring systems that they were transferring fuel among themselves and they are not licensed to do that in Ghana…The ships have just been arrested and are being escorted to the harbour. Once they get to the habour, investigations will start,” he said in an interview on Eyewitness News on Monday.
He attributed the Navy’s recent successful operations in arresting a number of vessels, to close collaborations between stakeholders including the National Petroleum Authority [NPA], and the Maritime Police.
“Our current successes are based on enhanced collaboration between agencies concerned… The National Petroleum Authority, the Ghana Maritime Authority, Marine Police, Bureau of National Investigation,” he added.
Commodore Issah Yakubu noted that, a thorough investigation will be conducted to determine the number of infractions carried out by the arrested persons, and what charges will be leveled against them.
Meanwhile, investigations are still ongoing to prosecute managers of the two Nigerian oil vessels which were allegedly transferring crude oil illegally in Ghanaian waters.
The seized vessels had a total of 11 persons on board, with all of them being Nigerians.
Vessel hijacked in Ghanaian waters
This development comes on the back of a reported hijacking of a Ghanaian fishing vessel by some persons believed to be Nigerian pirates.
Five persons on board were taken hostage, but the abandoned vessel was rescued by the Ghana Navy.
The five, including three Koreans, one Ghanaian and a Greek national, are believed to have been taken hostage by some alleged Nigerian hijackers, who attempted to seize the tuna vessel, Marine 711 on the Keta high seas.
However, one of the crew members who was found together with the abandoned vessel is currently receiving medical treatment as a result of the traumatic experience.
The vessel, Marine 711, with official No. 316694, and registration No. AFT28 has successfully rescued and is currently at berth 10 at the Tema Port.