Judge Gives Prison Time and Fines for Hijackers
A court in Lagos handed down a 12-year prison sentence on Friday, July 23 to 10 individuals accused of taking part in the kidnapping of a merchant ship that was under the Chinese flag last year, which officials hope would help combat piracy in the waters and off the coast.
Upholding their charges, Federal High Court Justice Ayokunle Faji found that the men’s behavior during the kidnapping of 18 crew members from the FV HAILUFENG II in May of 2020 was an embarrassment to the nation that has negatively harmed the economy.
Defense counsel declared that the men intended to appeal.
For many years, the Gulf of Guinea, which straddles multiple West African countries, has been regarded as “pirate alley.” The International Maritime Bureau reported that last year pirates operating in the area had kidnapped 130 seafarers in 22 separate incidents.