Russian Maritime Security Firm Protests Nigeria Detainment

Press Release
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In September 2012 Moscow-based crew members of the arms-carrying 'MV Myre Seadiver' were arrested in Lagos & detained without trial.

The owners of the vessel, the Moscow-based Moran Security Group, state as follows:

In September 2012 Moscow-based crew members of the MV Myre Seadiver were conducting professional and legitimate counter-piracy operations along Africa's western coast when, in October, their anchorage in Nigeria's Port of Lagos took a fateful turn.

Ignoring the fact that all permits, licenses and clearances were in place, the Nigerian Navy captured the Master and crew of fifteen Russian sailors on the eve of their departure from the Port of Lagos.  Held for months in a bleak Lagos prison without charge or trial, until recently when they were falsely accused of "illegal entry into the country" and "arms smuggling", the sailors are now threatened with life imprisonment by Nigerian prosecutors.

Alexey Maximov , of Moscow-based Moran Security Group, said: "The fact that our crew was forcibly removed from our ship at gunpoint in Lagos by the Nigerian authorities - the very people you should be able to trust - and held for months without charge is a total outrage."

He continued: "I can clarify that the vessel called at the Port of Lagos with all Customs paperwork in place and I possess all the appropriate documentation for presentation.  A declaration of the weaponry onboard was made clear in that paperwork in advance of arriving at the Port of Lagos and the crew had valid Nigerian visas.  It is a fact that the crew boarded the ship at the Port of Lagos AFTER flying into Nigeria through Lagos and entering the country through the airport's border control which they could not have done without visas!"

Moran Security Group respectfully conducts all international maritime security operations in compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the United Nations Charter, the United Nations Mine Action Standard, and the Code of Conduct for International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

The plight of the crew of the MV Myre Seadiver, as well as the broader issue of Nigeria's place in the international maritime community, are being evaluated by government officials in Russia and other concerned nations, as well as the International Maritime Organization.

The behavior of the MV Myre Seadiver's personnel throughout this horrendous experience has been nothing short of exemplary. The vessel's parent company, Moran Security Group, her Master and her crew offered transparency and meticulously complied with Nigeria's regulations for private maritime security providers.

Alexey Maximov , of Moscow-based Moran Security Group, said: "The fact that our crew was forcibly removed from our ship at gunpoint in Lagos by the Nigerian authorities - the very people you should be able to trust - and held for months without charge is a total outrage."
 

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