Four Immigration officers kidnapped by sea pirates rescued by Navy

The Nigerian Navy, early on Wednesday morning, rescued four officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), who were abducted on the Bonny River in the evening of Monday by suspected armed sea pirates.

Disclosing this to newsmen on Wednesday, the Commanding Officer of the Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Navy, Navy Capt. Kola Oguntuga explained that the officers were rescued during a surprise operation by the maritime component of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe; and the FOB of the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Pathfinder.

Navy Capt. Oguntuga told newsmen that the operation took place in the creeks in an area close to Abonnema, headquarter of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, where some yet to be disclosed items were recovered from the hoodlums who fled upon sighting the security operatives.

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He further disclosed that the rescued immigration officers would be handed over to the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) before the close of Wednesday.

In a renewed effort to checkmate maritime crimes in Rivers State, the State Governor, Nyesom Wike recently donated gunboats to the Nigerian Navy and the Nigeria Police Force to upscale their patrol of the Bonny-Port Harcourt sea route.

The Immigration officers had left Bonny on Monday for Port Harcourt, the State capital for documentation and other official matters at NIS’ headquarters when pirates attacked them on the high sea.

They were said to have been whisked away in a Commando-style operation.

Eye witness report had revealed that the boat’s driver was allowed to go after personnel of the para-military agency were moved into the higher-capacity speed boat of the pirates, before immediately speeding off.

Bonny Island, by the Atlantic Ocean, is the base of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), the crude oil export terminal of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited’s (MPN’s) export terminal for crude oil, condensate and Natural Gas Liquid (NGL).

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