Nine persons allegedly involved in arms smuggling have been arrested by the Nigerian Navy operative working under the just concluded OPERATION JUNCTION RAIN, in which the United States military participated in.
The nine persons arrested for illegal possession of sophisticated weapons and military uniform within the Nigerian territorial waters, include, three Greek citizens, one American and five Nigerians.
Addressing journalists before handing over the nine persons to the Interpol, the Officer in Tactical Command, Commodore Dickson Olisamunogor said the men were arrested during the just-concluded Operation Junction Rain alongside a vessel painted in naval colour and named Sea Angel 3.
He said that when the vessel was interrogated, they told the Nigerian Navy operatives that they had on board, only five Nigerians, but when the vessel was boarded, “we discovered other things including, sophisticated weapons and military out fits on board the vessel.”
He said that the weapon found on board the vessels which is classified as MI4 weapon are dangerous at sea and more crew members that the vessels had earlier declared.
“The arrested persons and the weapons were handed over to the head of the Interpol in Lagos Mr Tunji Akingbola, a Deputy Commissioner of Police for further investigation and interrogation on their activities within the Nigerian territorial waters.
The arrested persons include Angelopolous Spyridon, 54, (Greek); Kappis Christos, 57, (Greek); Petropoulos Stylianos, 34, (Greek) and Zanski Michael-Anderson, 50 (American). They were among the foreigners arrested on the boat – SEA ANGELS 3 while the special forces recovered four Bernelli MI-1 rifles, over 1,000 ammunition and other military gadgets.
Earlier, The Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship, (NNS) BEECROFT, Rear Admiral Okon Eyo, who handed over to the new commander of the NNS BEECROFT Commodore Ibrahim Shettima, said his men attached to the internal security operation in Lagos Operation Mesa had performed excellently, adding that, “OPERATION AWATSE electoral duties, traffic menace management, security of key and vulnerable points, offshore escort duties were some of the areas where the operatives had performed well.
Admiral Eyo lamented the continued traffic gridlock still being experienced in Apapa area of Lagos, explaining that unless the fee being paid as demurrage was removed, the gridlock would persist.
He said that during his tenure, efforts were made to ensure that the gridlock abated, but added that the shipping companies and port operators had continued to frustrate the efforts of the task force.
Admiral Eyo who inspected a parade of over 50 officers and men charged, the personnel to keep the high standards which the force had maintained, urging them to ensure they kept the flag flying by assisting the incoming commander to succeed.