Tuesday, October 23, 2012 -
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Nigerian Navy arrested on Oct 20 Russian offshore standby vessel Myre Seadiver on a suspicion of carrying arms. Nine crew members, mostly Russians, were arrested. Navy command said they found on board of the vessel assorted 14 AK 47 rifles with 3,643 ammunition; 22 barrel rifles, with 4,955 ammunition and Benelli MR1 rifle. Vessel was arrested on Lagos Road where she arrived on Oct 19 at around 03:30 UTC. Vessel didn’t notify in advance the presence of arms on board, but they’re illegal according to Nigeria laws anyway, notice or no notice, if there is no special license or permission. The arms found on Myre Seadiver are too small a lot to be an arms trafficking operation, but too big for the purpose of vessel’s protection. Most probably vessel is employed as a floating arsenal. Myre Seadiver left Russian port Baltyisk in June and during summer time was in Gulf of Aden area, then probably, it was decided to relocate vessel to Gulf of Guinea, she called Lagos for bunkering and maybe other supplies. If that’s the case, then, Nigerian Navy was tipped off about the true nature of the vessel, and knew they’d find weapons on board. They’ll request a hefty “fine”, looking more like a ransom, to shut the story down and release the vessel. Standby offshore vessel Myre Seadiver IMO 6505662, GRT 541, built 1965, flag Cook Islands, owner MIDAS PTE LTD, Russia, manager WESTBERG LTD, Russia.
Quite recently under similar circumstances a floating arsenal Sinbad was arrested in UAE waters, and later released. See PMSCs Floating Arsenal Sinbad detained in Fujairah http://www.odin.tc/news/read.asp?articleID=1412