International

7 Nigerian ‘Stowaways’ detained aboard oil tanker heading for UK

Seven Nigerian stowaways have been detained after British special services stormed an oil tanker off the Isle of Wight following a suspected hijacking.

The raid was carried out by around 16 members of the Special Boat Service (SBS), backed by airborne snipers, who secured the vessel in around nine minutes.

The operation was authorised by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel on Sunday night after a tense 10-hour stand-off.

According to maritime tracking websites, the ship reached port in Southampton early yesterday morning.

Hampshire Police said that the force was alerted to concerns over the welfare of the crew of the 228-metre long Nave Andromeda soon after 10am on Sunday as the ship headed towards Southampton, having set sail from Lagos in Nigeria.

The force later confirmed that all 22 crew members of the tanker were safe.

The ship’s operator, Navios Tanker Management, said that the stowaways “illegally boarded” the Liberian-flagged tanker in Lagos and that no crew members were injured.

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