UK authorities have arrested seven persons believed to be Nigerians on suspicion of seizing control of an oil ship Nave Andromeda.
The suspects whose names were yet unknown are believed to have boarded the Southampton-bound ship in Lagos on October 5 in search of asylum, BBC reports.
Following the ship’s arrival at the Isle of Wight on October 25, the seven stowaways on board had become violent.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “We were under the awareness that the suspects were also threatening to do something with the ship. If they were threatening to take control of the ship then, of course, that is a hijack and the threat to the environment and, more importantly, to the lives of people on the ship is something the state can’t tolerate.”
Hampshire Constabulary said the seven men were being held on suspicion of “seizing or exercising control of a ship by use of threats or force under Sections 9(1) and (3) of the Aviation and Maritime and Security Act 1990.
“All 22 crew members are safe and well and the vessel is now alongside in the port of Southampton.”
A 10-hour stand-off was ended when 16 members of the Special Boat Service descended on to the vessel by rope from four Royal Navy helicopters after nightfall.
The ship’s operator Navios Tanker Management said the Nigerians illegally boarded.
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