Police raid ‘illegal’ merchant navy camp in Lagos, operating since 2005, arrest 107 trainees (Photos)

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Lagos police command says its operatives arrested 107 trainees of an “illegal” merchant navy at their training camp located at Ogudu axis of the state.

Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos police commissioner, yesterday, said the trainees were arrested alongside one Sunday Dakare, their commanding officer.

The Nigerian merchant navy also known as the coastal defence force was established to combat crimes on the country’s waterways but the organisation has not been recognised by the federal government.

In 2017, the Nigerian Navy announced that the operation of merchant navy training schools is illegal and that the schools have been outlawed.

Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos police commissioner, yesterday, said the trainees were arrested alongside one Sunday Dakare, their commanding officer.

The Nigerian merchant navy also known as the coastal defence force was established to combat crimes on the country’s waterways but the organisation has not been recognised by the federal government.

In 2017, the Nigerian Navy announced that the operation of merchant navy training schools is illegal and that the schools have been outlawed.

Speaking during the parade of the suspects, Odumosu said the command had received “credible actionable intelligence” on the “illegal” activities of the merchant navy and that its operatives raided the training camps yesterday morning.

The Lagos police commissioner said the federal government has outlawed the Nigerian merchant navy and that it is illegal for anyone to use military outfits for training.

“Today, 10th November, 2021 at about 1100hrs, the Lagos State Police Command raided the illegal training camp of the Merchant Navy located in Ogudu Sand field area, Lagos State and arrested the commanding officer, ‘m’ aged 47 together with one hundred and seven suspects currently on training,” he said.

“During the raid which was coordinated by the operations department of the command, the following items were recovered: several military accoutrements including, camouflage, badges of ranks, flag, sign board, ID cards.

“Other items recovered include: recruitment letters, promotion letters, portrait of the commanding officer, two motorcycles, one plasma TV, three cutlasses, criminal charms and other items.

“In the course of interrogation, it was discovered that the Nigerian Merchant Navy also called the coastal defence force has been operating illegally since 2005.

“Recall that the Nigerian Merchant Navy has since been outlawed by the federal government hence it is illegal for anyone to operate such a military outfit giving military training to unsuspecting young Nigerians. This trend portends danger for our nation and a threat to peace and security.

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