BNI Takes Over Nigerian Pirates

Bureau OF National Investigations (BNI) has taken over investigations involving the eight suspected pirates who were arrested by the eastern Naval Command (eNC) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) for allegedly hijacking a Nigerian oil vessel. The BNI is to investigate how the Nigerian vessel, MT Miriam – which was said to be carrying about 1,500 tonnes of crude oil - was hijacked in Nigeria and piloted into Ghana’s waters before the arrest of the suspects upon a tip-off by the owner. Meanwhile, the ENC has again found additional sophisticated weapons upon further search on the vessel. Two pump action guns were retrieved on the Nigerian vessel. Speaking to DAILY GUIDE, Eastern Naval Commander, Commodore Steve Darbo, intimated that the eight suspects would most likely face piracy charges and might be prosecuted in Ghana, depending on the maritime agreement between both countries. He noted that the Ghana Navy, for that matter, Eastern Naval Command, had completed with its investigations. “It now depends on our intelligence service in Ghana to take over and conduct further investigations for them to face the full rigors of the law,” Commodore Darbo said. The hijacked vessel was said to be carrying a nine member crew when it was capture in Nigerian waters and drifted into Ghana’s territorial waters, about 26 nautical miles off the shores of Tema. Earlier sophisticated weapons and other items like 300 live rounds of 10 loaded magazines, four AK 47 assault rifles, a pump action gun, three hand VHF radios, 10 digital cameras, 18 mobile phones, 43,850 Naira and 1,270 US Dollars were retrieved from the suspects. MT Miriam has been under armed guard anchorage at Berth 4 at the Tema Port since it was arrested last Saturday.