Three Greek nationals and an American were among nine persons arrested by the Nigerian Navy for allegedly smuggling weapons within the country’s territorial waters
The arrested persons, it was learnt, were nabbed by the naval operative working under the just concluded OPERATION JUNCTION RAIN, in which the United States military participated.
The nine persons arrested for illegal possession of sophisticated weapons and military uniform within the territorial waters, include five Nigerians.
Addressing the newsmen before handing over the nine persons to the Interpol, the Officer in Tactical Command (OTC) of the operation, Commodore Dickson Olisamunogor said the men were arrested during the just concluded Operation Junction Rain alongside a vessel painted in naval colour and named Sea Angel 3.
Before now, we go out there to make arrest and we hand over to relevant agencies, but the activities of these criminals have continued unabated.
“This time around, we made a detailed search and interrogation of ships at sea.
“Within the period of the operation, we interrogated over 100 ships, we boarded over 40 of them and in the process of boarding these vessels, one was suspected to be carrying illegal activities on our waters.
“When we interrogated the captain and crew members of the ship, they made us believe that there were only five Nigerians on board. The boat was painted navy colour, and this aroused our suspicions more.
“They were not shining their electronic gadget at sea, which will indicate their position as stipulated by the International Maritime Organisation, and this attracted our attention.
“We boarded and discovered that there were more than five persons on board. There were five Nigerians, three Greeks and an American.
“Further search on the boat reviewed that they had four MI Riffles that can do anything at sea and over 1000 rounds of ammunition with them and various military kits,” he said.