British special forces occupied the ship to evict seven Nigerians who had apparently taken a tanker, which was due to reach the port of Southampton.
Neither terrorists nor the command of the ship. They were seven policemen or illegal migrants The objective of a spectacular seven-minute British special forces operation this morning, with helicopters, ships and heavily armed soldiers, to dislodge them from a tanker, which was due to arrive at the port of Southampton on Sunday. The tanker, raided by special forces off the Isle of Wight coast, was under the control of the ship’s captain throughout the incident and he had known about the stowaways “for some time.”
Counterterrorism special operations are secret and cannot be commented on in Britain.
But British Hampshire Police said they are leading an investigation into this maritime incident, which involved 16 members of the Special Boat Service, commandos of the special forces of the navy, who boarded the ship to “regain control of the tanker.” The seven cops have been detained and the police are speaking with crew members to establish “whether it was a kidnapping or the exact circumstances of the incident.”
So far, and despite the crew’s accounts, the seven cops have been detained “on suspicion of taking control or attempting to control a ship under threat.” No crew personnel were injured and all are safe, according to the Navios Tanker company. The cops made only verbal threats to the crew.
The spectacular operation was ordered by the British interior minister, Priti Pastel and the defense secretary, Ben Wallace for “an alleged terrorist kidnapping on the high seas”, after 10 hours of discussions with the alleged “hijackers”, who were not other what coppers.
Patel carries out a hostile and confrontational policy towards illegal immigration and the defense lawyers of migrants, whom he accuses of being “leftists” who “want to do good.” It earned her a request today from 3,000 magistrates, judges of the supreme court and the court of appeals and British lawyers denouncing her for endangering them with her statements in her work. There have been attacks by far-right groups against lawyers.
The captain of the Andromeda Ship, a Greek-owned ship flying the Liberian flag, sent an emergency distress signal, six miles from the Isle of Wight, on Sunday morning, when the stowaways got menacing. It was after the crew told them they would have to inform the authorities of their presence on board before disembarking.
As a precaution, the captain and his crew retired to a safe room after the seven stowaways made verbal threats. They wanted to abandon ship when the crew tried to lock them in a cabin, before docking.
The captain put the entire crew in the tanker’s control room, from where they were able to control the ship and communicate with the British authorities, as a precautionary measure. But it is understood that, at no time, no one was injured or physically attacked, nor did the captain lose control of the tanker.
A statement issued by Navios Tanker Management confirmed that “the captain advised the UK authorities that they had found seven stowaways on board, when the vessel was sailing from Lagos, Nigeria.” It is known that the stowaways were discovered early in the ship’s journey and there were no problems until the ship approached its destination.
A spokesperson said: “The captain was concerned for the safety of the crew. due to the increasingly hostile behavior of stowaways. Fortunately, no member of the crew was injured and all are safe and sound. “
Richard Meade, editor of Lloyd’s List, a shipping newspaper, said there appeared to be a discrepancy between the Defense Ministry, saying it was an “alleged hijacking” and “informational notifications from the ship’s owners and the flag’s registration , who said that the stowaways were Nigerians. ” “They got a bit aggressive and as a precaution the captain put his crew in the control room. But at all times, the captain was in charge of the ship, “he said.
They had discovered the stowaways at some point during the trip and it turns out they had known them for some time, ”Meade said.
Meade said it would be “surprising if the average stowaway had any knowledge of how to operate an oil tanker” and, “therefore, probably did not plan to pilot the ship at any time.” “These ships have 21 crew on board for good reason. You can’t hijack a ship like that without knowledgeUnless you force the crew to operate it at gunpoint, “he said.
“If there was no threat and the stowaways weren’t armed [es difícil verlo como un presunto secuestro]. . . All the descriptions I receive are verbal threats, “he explained. The ship had had an erratic trajectory yesterday.
The International Maritime Organization directives on stowaways state that ship captains must do everything possible to establish the identity of the stowaways, when they entered the ship and notify their existence, together with the pertinent details, to the public authorities of the first intended port of call. This information should also be provided to the shipowner, the public authorities at the port of shipment, the flag State and subsequent ports of call, if applicable.