By Chiazo Ogbolu
The Lagos Seaports and Marine Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has received five suspected stowaways from the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft.
The Comptroller of Immigration, Lagos Seaports and Marine Command, Mohammed Saddiq, said this in a statement signed by the commands Public Relations Officer, Superintendent of Immigration, Augustus Maisor, on Thursday in Lagos.
Saddiq added that the suspects were handed over to them on Aug. 30.
According to Saddiq, the suspects who were arrested on board MSC Martha on Aug. 26 at about 11.50 p.m., hail from Ondo, Enugu and Cross River States.
`During the course of profiling, all the suspects were found to be Nigerians who illegally boarded the ship through her rudder compartment with intent to migrate to Europe.
“This is coming barely seven days after personnel of the command intercepted a suspected procurer alongside five victims of human trafficking while on their way to Mali,” he said.
Worried by the development, Saddiq, warned potential travelers against resorting to unauthorised means, adding that the command remain unwavering in enforcing the relevant Immigration Laws of the nation.
The immigration boss further solicited the cooperation of terminal operators, proximate riverine communities and other stakeholders in the fight against irregular migration and transborder criminality.
Saddiq also called on parents and community leaders to be awake to their responsibilities and emphasised on the directive of the Ag. Comptroller General of Immigration, Caroline Adepoju to ensure adequate patrol of the waterways.
The comptroller commended the Nigerian Navy and other sister agencies in complementing the efforts of the command toward preventing transborder crimes.
He attributed the decline in stowaway incidents to the enduring synergy.
“The suspects have been handed over to the Nigeria Police Force, based on their nationalities for prosecution,” he said. (NAN)