UK: 7 arrested after attempted oil tanker hijacking
The British authorities said Monday that seven people were arrested after British special forces stormed an oil tanker off the Isle of Wight following a suspected hijacking on Sunday.
“I can confirm the crew is safe and the operation to secure the vessel concluded successfully,” Health Minister Matt Hancock told Sky News on Monday.
Hancock added: “I would like to pay tribute to the police and armed forces who did such an exemplary job … this is what they train for and this is what they're there for, to protect our country and they did that to such a high standard.”
The Liberian-registered tanker is called Nava Andromeda, and there were several stowaways, believed to be Nigerians seeking UK asylum.
The stowaways were handed over to Hampshire Police on Sunday night. All 22 crew members were safe, and the 228-meter tanker docked in Southampton.
The ordeal lasted 10 hours and was brought to an end by sixteen members of the Special Boat Service, the elite counter-terrorism unit of the Royal Navy., with most of its members from Royal Marine Commandos.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement: “In response to a police request, the Defence Secretary and Home Secretary authorized Armed Forces personnel to board a ship in the English Channel to safeguard life and secure a ship that was subject to suspected hijacking.
“Armed forces have gained control of the ship and seven individuals have been detained. Police investigations will now continue. Initial reports confirm the crew is safe and well."
(c) Anadolu Agency