The State Security Service has arrested five men, including a retired naval lieutenant commander, for allegedly hijacking a Lagos-bound vessel, Roasa Tomasos.
The Deputy Director, Public Relations, SSS, Mrs. Marilyn Ogar, while parading the suspects at the state headquarters in Lagos on Thursday, said the vessel was carrying 26,000 metric tonnes of petrol when the incident took place.
She said, “On November 3, 2011, a Lagos-bound vessel named Roasa Tomasos, containing 26,000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), was hijacked by suspected sea pirates while approaching Lagos.
“However, on November 6, 2011, we (SSS) successfully recovered the vessel and its content intact, while the suspects, who are members of a notorious gang of pirates, were apprehended. They include: Lawrence Adesanya (the retired Lt. Cmdr.), Teke Abaka, Lucky Momoh and Philip Kokoh. Two other suspects – Abenego Abaka and a lawyer, referred to simply as Felix – are still at large. They have been declared wanted.”
Ogar added that further investigations revealed that the suspects, led by Adesanya, had earlier hijacked a vessel containing large quantity of diesel.
“Investigations also revealed that the group was responsible for the hijack of a vessel named Cape Bird, carrying 32,000 metric tonnes of Automated Gas Oil (dies), belonging to Sahara Energy Resources on October 7, 2011. It is suspected that the gang escaped with eight metric tonnes of the product,” she said.
Ogar maintained that investigations were still ongoing and that the suspects would soon be charged to court.
When asked how the suspects were apprehended, Ogar said the modus operandi of the suspects was to hijack vessels around the Niger Delta and divert them to a place near Lagos where they had ready buyers.
The SSS spokesperson urged Nigerians to desist from acts capable of giving the country a negative image. She also implored members of the public to be security-conscious and assist law enforcement agencies with information that could aid the securing the nation.
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