Two Nigerian Males Charged Over Stowaway Migrants on Tanker
Two men appeared in Southampton Crown Court on Saturday, charged with alleged crimes relating to a major security alert in the English Channel that led to British special forces raiding an oil tanker.
Matthew John Okorie, 25 and Sunday Sylvester, 22 were charged with endangering a ship under the UK’s Merchant Shipping Act 1995 and will appear in court again in January for trial. They are two of seven men who were arrested onboard the Nave Andromeda oil tanker in October after the crew reported the presence of stowaways on the ship.
All of those arrested are reported to be of Nigerian origin, and the operators of the Greek ‘owned’, Liberian-flagged ship said they believed the men boarded the ship while it was moored off Lagos.
There was a ten-hour standoff in the Channel as the crew of the ship retreated to a safe position, still in control of the ship but apparently unable to bring it alongside. The situation was brought to an end after members of Britain’s Special Boat Services boarded the tanker from the air.
The remaining men of the stowaway group who have not yet been charged are being detained under powers exercised by the UK Border Force.