Port Harcourt — The Nigerian Navy has handed over a vessel, MV Soteria, arrested for defaulting her Automatic Identification System transmission data, to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, for prosecution.
Naval Commanding Officer, Forward Operating Base, Bonny, Navy Capt. Badamasi Yahuza, said the hand over was in furtherance of its inter-agency collaboration for the safety and security of the nation’s maritime environment.
Yahuza represented by the Naval Regulating Officer, FOB Bonny, Sub Lt. Justin Orer, urged NIMASA to carry out further investigation and possible prosecution.
He said the vessel, MV Soteria, was intercepted and arrested along Bonny Anchorage on May 18, 2021, after being flagged by operatives of the Nigerian Navy on Maritime Domain Awareness Monitoring Systems for inconsistencies in her AIS transmission data.
“The arrest of MV Soteria was in line with the Forward Operating Base Bonny Maritime Law Enforcement efforts.
“The handing over will enable and facilitate proper investigation to be carried out on the vessel and, if found culpable, would be made to face prosecution.
“The handover of MV Soteria is a further demonstration of the continued efforts of the Forward Operating Base, Nigerian Navy Bonny, to entrench stakeholder management and inter-agency collaboration in our operations.”
Receiving the vessel, NIMASA Head, Bonny Island Office, James Nebonta, assured of prosecution of the vessel if found culpable.