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Tugboat attacked by pirates, released after being charged with piracy

Fecha de la noticias: 24/05/2019 • Publicada: 24/05/2019 

According to NIMASA, the Nigerian-flagged vessel MV CHARIS, tugboat, was attacked on May 5 by unknown assailants and rescued by the Spanish Navy. The rescued vessel was sent to Equatorial Guinea and has been released.

The vessel"s release was facilitated by the Nigerian Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, Ambassador Toko Ali Gongulong, with the assistance of the Defence Attaché, Navy Captain Seyi Oladipo, and officials of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

According to local reports, Nigerian crewmen were arrested in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, under the assumption that they were involved in piracy activities.

MV CHARIS was sailing to execute a vessel recovery contract in Equatorial Guinean territorial waters, when it was attacked by unknown armed assailants. The attackers used the tugboat to attack the larger Maltese-flagged vessel, MV BLUE MARLIN. Yet, they didn"t manage to attack as BLUE MARLIN"s captain sent a call in distress, which was then responded by the Spanish navy.

Both MV BLUE MARLIN and the MV CHARIS were subsequently handed over to the Equatorial Guinea Navy by the Spanish Navy, as the incident was clearly in their jurisdiction.

MV BLUE MARLIN was docked for repairs, with its crew treated decently, whereas MV CHARIS and its crew were detained by the police under threat of being charged with piracy, whereas they were equally attacked and hijacked by the pirates.

The eventual release of MV CHARIS and its crew was made possible by the joint effort of the Nigerian Ambassador, the Defence Attaché, and officials of NIMASA.

Concluding, Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue commented in local media that 10 Nigerian sea pirates were arrested concerning the attack.

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