Nigeria Seized A Tanker For Turning Off AIS, Owners Could Face Sanctions
Recently, the Nigerian Navy turned in a tanker to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety or NIMASA for allegedly switching off its AIS system. The vessel in question, MT Sea Eunice, was arrested by the Nigerian Navy for turning off the Automatic Identification System.
Samuel Musa, Navy Commander, reiterated this when he said that the ship repeatedly turned on and off its AIS system and violated IMO and NIMASA regulations.
As per IMO and NIMASA regulations, this is illegal and violates international laws. NIMASA will be conducting a further investigation regarding this matter.
The vessel was handed over to NIMASA after the Navy completed its preliminary investigations, and Vice Admiral Awwal Subair Gambo directed the transfer.
This handover underlines the Navy’s effort to monitor the country’s maritime domain and act in tandem with all maritime stakeholders for the safety and security of Nigeria.
NIMASA Central Zone District Surveyor Oyadiran Joshua Oyeniyi acknowledged this when he said that NIMASA takes note of the naval report and impose sanction on the owners accordingly if they find any infractions.
The vessel will be released and sent back to its owners only after NIMASA is done with their own inspection and finalize a report. They will decide on sanctioning the owners based on their internal assessment and that of the naval review.
References: The Tide News Online, Ships & Ports