The Nigerian Navy on Wednesday said it had recovered a vessel that was used in the February 11, 2016 hijack of an oil tanker by suspected pirates.
The Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Fergusson Bobai, told newsmen in Lagos that his men also arrested the owner of MT Dejikun, the vessel used in the hijack, as well as an accomplice.
MT Maximus was hijacked on February 11 off the coast of Cote d’Ivoire.
The Navy, however, arrested the suspected pirates after a gun battle that left one dead.
The pirates had hijacked the oil vessel laden with 4,700 tonnes of diesel fuel and held the crew hostage until they were rescued by the Navy on February 22.
Bobai said MT Dejikun was vandalised and abandoned off the coast of Benin Republic.
He said: “The Benoinise Navy discovered there was nobody onboard the ship and took custody of the vessel.
“When they got the ship, they were able to recover some documents of the ship and during investigation, it was discovered that the owner of the ship is a Nigerian.
“The Navy operatives at the Forward Operating Base in Badagry arrested the owner of the vessel along Seme Border.”
Bobai said the person that chartered the vessel from the owner was also arrested, adding that the vessel and the suspects would be handed over to the police for further investigation.