Hijacker, Gunrunner Confesses Crime To Security Agents.

Hijacker, Gunrunner Confesses Crime To Security Agents.
A suspected arm smuggler who is currently being detained in one of the cells of the government established taskforce combating maritime crime has reveal their operational model to security agents.
The man who gave his name as Samuel Michael said that his syndicate specializes in trafficking arms and hijacking Nigeria-bound cargo, hired a vessel to perpetrate their crime.
Michael, who is also referred to as Logistics Officer, among the crew on board MV Naomi Corlet, betrayed no emotion while dishing out the details of his syndicate’s escapades.
Other suspected criminals in the Lagos coastline have been arrested by the operatives of the task force, just as a special operation by the Nigerian Navy is currently flushing criminals out of the nation’s waters in the Niger Delta.
According to Michael, MV Naomi Corlet was hired in Cameroun for a period of six months to enable his gang to have enough time to maximize its use for their nefarious operation. He specifically named one Charles as the person in charge of facilitating the vessel.
He said Charles is well-connected and has influence among the top officials of the federal government including an unnamed member of the House of Representatives and a prominent lawyer.
Michael said: “The vessel anchors at Calabar port from where we usually take off and move down to Badagry, Lagos State, where we have a depot of sorts. We offload our cache of arms at Badagry and return to the water for operation. It is through Badagry that arms enter Nigeria.
“There are other locations across the country where the arms are kept. What I am saying is that only about 20 per cent of the arms stay in Lagos while others are scattered in different locations across the country, especially the Niger-Delta.”
Michael said he had participated in both hijacking and arms trafficking on four occasions with each operation fetching him what he referred to as “good money”. He said he was on his way to yet another operation in Cotonou, Republic of Benin capital, when the long arms of the law caught up with him and other members of his gang.
He said that would not have been arrested had the vessel not developed a mechanical fault which forced it to a halt. He said he called someone at Apapa who could fix the problem and the person brought a power-generating set to the spot but got the shock of his life when he entered the vessel and saw traces of hard drugs.
Another source in the task force narrated: “The person became suspicious, given the fact that the gang members were at first reluctant in allowing him into the vessel. They eventually allowed him because they were in dire need of his service at that point in time.
“So, when the person saw the traces of cocaine inside the vessel, he kept quiet and subsequently stumbled on some live cartridges. Because of the fear that they might harm him and throw him into the sea, he did not show sign of shock.
“But he tricked them that the generator could not function until he returned to Apapa to bring a certain component. This was what helped him out of the place. By the time he got to Apapa, he contacted somebody who alerted us.”
Michael disclosed that his gang was eagerly waiting for the engineer when, suddenly, through their monitor, they discovered that they had been surrounded by members of the task force. This development, he said, brought untold apprehension and forced them to throw some boxes of arms in the vessel into the sea.
Michael further said: “I was apprehended on October 13, 2012, in a vessel named Naomi Corlet which we wanted to use to hijack a vessel carrying AGO on the high sea. The person who chartered the vessel is one Mr. Charles.
“When we were apprehended by security personnel some ammunition and gallons of petrol were found on board the vessel. Apart from our sponsor, Charles and Ademola other known buyers of the stolen products are Ebere, IK and Abedo.”

Section: