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Officers in the England have been granted more time to question the seven men arrest after the maritime security incident on board the Nave Andromeda on Sunday.
The seven men, who are all Nigerian nationals, were arrested on suspicion of seizing or exercising control of a ship by use of threats or force under Sec 9(1) and (3) of the Aviation and Maritime and Security Act 1990. Under the new order, they will remain in custody until Wednesday evening.
A multi-agency response was launched Sunday morning at around 10 a.m. after concerns were raised over the safety of the Nave Adromeda’s crew as the ship was about six miles off the Isle of Wight. It was reported that a number of stowaways were on board and had made threats toward the crew members.
The standoff lasted for several hours before a special forces team with Britain’s Special Boat Service stormed the vessel and arrested the seven men.
The 22 crew members of the Nave Andromeda, were unharmed during the incident.
The vessel arrived from Lagos, Nigeria, where the seven suspects are believed to have boarded. “Investigators are speaking to the crew members to establish the exact circumstances of what happened,” said a press statement from the Hampshire Police, the agency leading the investigation.
British media reports have claimed that prior to arriving in the U.K., the Nave Andromeda had been turned away from ports in France and Spain after the crew had learned of the stowaways.
Under U.K. law, officers are provided 24 hours to question someone in custody, but can request extensions from senior officers or a judge. A maximum of 96 hours can be granted.
The Nave Andromeda is a 79,000 dwt crude oil tanker registered in Liberia. It is managed by Navios Tankers Management of Greece
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