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Russian Ship Arrested in Nigeria

Russian Ship Arrested in Nigeria 24.10.2012
Text: Vzglyad
Photo: marinetraffic.com
Russian charge d'affairs in Nigeria Alexander Chernov told the Vzglyad newspaper there were many mistakes in Nigerian media reports on the recently arrested Russian ship.

"At first, there were not 15 but 11 sailors arrested", he said. "We need some time to pick up full and credible information, and then we'll tell all details", said the diplomat.

However, Interfax referring to one of the crewmen insists there are 15 sailors onboard, all of them are Russians.

"All are Russians", said the interviewee declining to give further comments.

Prior to that, Moscow-headquartered Moran Security Group owning the ship declared that arrest of MV Myre Seadiver on suspicion of arms smuggling was groundless.

"We consider this detention was groundless, since it was known about the ship's call at the port in advance. We talked to an agent providing the port call. He received all appropriate documents and notified us that the call at Lagos port had been approved by Nigerian Navy", said the shipowner's spokesman.

He confirmed that the ship was really transporting arms and munitions.

The representative of Moran Security Group explained that claims of Nigerian Navy to the ship arouse suddenly. "The ship called at Lagos for repair and was about to leave the port on Friday to continue the voyage. But Nigerian military servicemen suddenly broke into the port and towed the ship to a naval base. No charges have been brought against the crew and the shipowner so far. In fact, the sailors are just held at the naval base", said the shipowner's representative.

He assured that as well as the Russian Embassy in Nigeria, the company was also holding talks with Nigerian authorities on the fastest release of the ship.

The officer of Moran Security Group added that "there are 15 crewmen onboard, all are Russians. They're okay and have enough food. If needed, we can supply them with food".

The interviewee added that Russian diplomats had visited the sailors and promised to make every endeavor for fastest release of the crew and the ship.

Recall that some media agencies earlier reported referring to Nigerian officials that the Russian ship with 15 (or 9) Russian sailors had been arrested on suspicion of arms smuggling.

The ship belongs to Moran Group registered in Moscow and flies the flag of Netherlands.

According to Nigerian Navy, the ship entered territorial waters of the country without appropriate notification, which was the reason for inspection and further arrest.

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