By Evelyn Usman
Plans by four stowaways to sneak out of the country via a Malaysian-bound cargo vessel from Tin Can Island, Lagos, were aborted following their arrest by the Maritime Police Command. To the amazement of all, one of them, Ahmed Azeez, 24, said he did not regret his action, adding that he was forced to leave the shores of the country because of hardship. The stowaways, as gathered, infiltrated themselves into the vessel, which was berthed at Tin Can Island port, through the propeller. Thereafter, they entered into the manhole from where they hid themselves in a small compartment.
Parading the suspects before newsmen yesterday, Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Maritime Police Command, Mr. Muhammed Katsina, explained that the arrest was made following a tip-off that some stowaways are aboard MV Maersk Casablanca.
The ship, according to him, was trailed to Onne, Rivers State, 23 hours after it set sail, consequent upon which the stowaways, identified as Ahmed Azeez, 33; Tunde Yagba, 33; Ajose Kehinde, 33, and Adewale Sunday, 25, were apprehended.
Katsina said: “My intelligence group from the Amphibious Ambush Squad got the hint and in collaboration with men of the Nigerian Immigration Service, who played a commendable role, they were found and arrested.
“One of them (Adewale) was bleeding profusely as a result of injury he sustained while sneaking into the vessel, and he has been hospitalized”