On Friday, a Nigerian court sentenced ten men to twelve years of prison over the hijacking of a Chinese-flagged merchant ship in 2020. Navy officials in Nigeria upheld the verdict stating that harsh punishment will be implemented and only that will tackle any piracy that occurs in the waters off the coasts of Nigeria.
The navy successfully rescued around 18 crew members of the unbound Chinese vessel from the notorious ten pirates. They rescued them on May 15, 2020.
The pirates were all nationals of Nigeria and were convicted by the court of hijacking the merchant vessel named FV Hailufeng II in the Guinea Gulf in 2020.
Justice Ayokunle Faji from the Nigerian Federal High Court (located in Lagos) levied a fine of 250,000 Nairas ($608) on the men for the charges pressed. He also stated that the hijacking actions of the men were “a total embarrassment for the nation and it has left a grave negative impact on the economy”. He had total belief that the punishment and sentences on these pirated will be a strong deterrent for other people who are in similar professions.
The present trial is the second one to occur under the new anti-piracy law that came into existence in 2018. The new law dubbed pirates as “economic vandals working against the country”. The spokesperson on behalf of Nigerian army, Suleman Dahun, stated that the sentence ruling was “a significant victory for the new anti-piracy law of Nigeria”.
According to the defence counsel, the convicted men would appeal.
Pirate attacks have become a common occurrence in the Gulf of Guinea. These pirates hijack ships for ransom. The gulf spreads from Senegal to Angola, covering the entire southwest coasts of Nigeria. It has of late been known as “pirate alley” due to regular pirate attacks.
As per the International Maritime Bureau, the pirates in the region have kidnapped over a record 130 seafarers in 22 incidents in 2020 itself. 2021 so far witnessed 16 piracy acts. This is reported by the Dryad Global maritime security consultancy.
Most of these perpetrator’s hail from the delta region of Nigeria; it is a poverty-stricken region despite having rich reserves of oil. It is worth citing that $1 = 411.000 Naira, which is the Nigerian currency.
Ten Men Jailed In Nigeria Over Chinese Ship Hijacking appeared first on Marine Insight – The Maritime Industry Guide
Source: Maritime Shipping News