Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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HomeCrime and SecurityAbductionSea Pirates Kidnap Five, Steal Boats In Akwa Ibom

Sea Pirates Kidnap Five, Steal Boats In Akwa Ibom

 

Anxiety came up at Oron and Mbo Local Government Areas and other adjoining villages in Akwa Ibom State as sea pirates numbering over 700 hijacked a boat and kidnapped five victims, carting away nine boats belonging to fishermen at the weekend.

News correspondents gathered that the pirates also went away with outboard engines thereby frustrating voyage on the Oron-Calabar waterway as boat operators and commuters feared for their dear lives.

A source revealed that the pirates, who invaded the fishing community, shot sporadically inorder to scare away fishermen and other people that are available at the locality though the location where the boats and engines were seized was close to the Naval base.

An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity alleged that the assailants met no resistance from naval officers as the attack lasted for hours.

He added that after the operations, the pirates left behind a phone number for communication with the owners of the seized engines and negotiation of ransom.

“Each engine is worth up to between N6 million and N8.5 Million while a fairly used one goes for about N3 Million depending on the horsepower rating.

“The pirates usually accept a ransom for seized engines but not in all cases as they sometimes sell the engines in other states in Nigeria and neighbouring countries,”

He said When newsmen visited the community, some open stalls at the beach were deserted while a few traders were displaying their wares such as fish and other goods.

A boat operator at the beach who identified himself as Bassey Effiong, said activities of the pirates have escalated in the area despite the presence of security agencies.

“As you heard, Ibaka is not safe for us fishermen and people who come here for business. Sometimes we give the navy people some money for their upkeep but they cannot defend us.

“Even the pirates, some of us pay them to allow us to do our work, but they always come back to kill and sometimes take away our engines. I want the government to look into this and bring a permanent solution to this problem,” he remarked.

A fish trader, Mrs. Utibe Matthew, expressed that she came from neighbouring community to purchase goods at Ibaka.

“I am disappointed because the quantity of crayfish and fish that is available is below what I expected. I have a stall at Akpan Andem market in Uyo, and demand is very high. Insecurity should be addressed for full-fledged economic activities to resume,” she stated in Ibibio language.”

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