London: Pirates successfully boarded a product tanker sailing into Nigeria but were overpowered by the the Western Naval Command (WNC) of the Nigerian Navy.
Pirates in two boats intercepted the tanker, named in reports as MT Imas, which raised the alarm around 0120 that it was under attack by pirates.
A nearby Navy patrol boat went immediately to the tanker’s rescue, exchanging gunfire with the pirates before overpowering them.
Two of the suspected pirates were injured in the exchange, another was later arrested and detained by the force.
The naval vessel was able to respond quickly to the incident because it was patrolling inland waterways and territorial waters in preparation for Nigeria’s national elections, rear admiral Jonathan Ango, WNC flag officer commanding, told local press.
“Their intention was to board the vessel and either kidnap the foreigners on board or steal the products, or take the ship as hostage and sell the product somewhere,” Ango said.
The suspect has denied ever being a pirate, saying he is a businessman who was going about his business before being arrested.