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HomeSecurity & SafetyNavy arrest vessel, 17 crew members for illegal fishing in A'Ibom

Navy arrest vessel, 17 crew members for illegal fishing in A’Ibom

Operatives attached to the Nigerian Navy has arrested a vessel, MFV TOKE II, and 17 persons onboard in the Calabar Channel, for alleged illegal fishing.

Nigeriacrime.com learned that they were arrested for illegal trawling within two nautical miles of the Nigerian Continental Shelf and Automatic Identification System Infraction.

The Navy’s Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom state disclosed this yesterday as it handed over the suspects and the vessel to the Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Base Operating Officer, Commander Daniel Onyemaeze, said investigations revealed the vessel departed the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) Commandant Jetty Kirikiri, Lagos state for fishing on 29 November 2023 and was arrested Tuesday, Jan. 23rd 2024 morning for illegal trawling within 2 nautical miles of Nigerian Continental Shelf and Automatic Identification System Infraction.

Commander Onyemaeze added that “As at the time of arrest, MFV TOKE II had 13 Nigerians and 4 Ghanaians onboard and laden with 150 bags of fish, 100 packs of shrimps and 20 loosed fishes in her two cold rooms all gotten from illicit trawling activities.

“The vessel had spent a total of 55 days at sea at the time she was arrested by FOB, Ibaka patrol boat. However, during her operations, it was observed through her surveillance that she had engaged in illicit fishing activities and was consequently arrested.

“In view of the aforementioned, the Base was directed by Naval Headquarters to hand over the vessel to Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture for further investigation and possible prosecution.”

Receiving the suspects and vessel, Mrs Stella Anuforo, Fisheries Officer, Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Calabar, Cross River state, thanked the Nigerian Navy for securing the maritime environment adding that the agency would further investigate the suspects and take necessary actions.

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