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Two charged over alleged hijacking of tanker near Isle of Wight
27 December 2020, 14:43
Police have charged two men in connection with the alleged hijacking of a tanker nearby the Isle of Wight in October.
Matthew John Okorie, 25, and Sunday Sylvester, 22, appeared in court on Saturday charged with an offence relating to conduct endangering ships, Hampshire Constabulary has said.
This comes a part of the ongoing investigation into the October 25 incident, when stowaways boarded the Nave Andromeda vessel in a suspected hijacking, but were stopped by a British Special Boat Service (SBS) raid backed by airborne snipers.
Seven Nigerian men were detained by the SBS, and they remain on police bail while investigations continue.
The raid was authorised by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel after a tense 10-hour stand-off.
The 748ft (228m) Nave Andromeda had been heading towards Southampton, having set sail from Lagos in Nigeria.
The ship's operator, Navios Tanker Management, said the stowaways "illegally boarded" the Liberian-flagged tanker in Lagos.
Okorie and Sylvester will remain in custody until they are due to appear at Southampton Crown Court on January 29.
The five other men arrested on suspicion of seizing or exercising control of a ship by use of threats or force remain on police bail until January 25.