Two men charged over alleged Isle of Wight oil tanker hijacking

Police have charged two men in connection with the alleged hijacking of a tanker off the coast of the Isle of Wight in October.

Matthew John Okorie, 25, and Sunday Sylvester, 22, appeared in court on Saturday charged with an offence relating to conduct endangering ships, Hampshire constabulary said.

The charges come as part of the ongoing investigation into the 25 October incident, when stowaways boarded the Nave Andromeda vessel in a suspected hijacking, but were stopped by a British Special Boat Service (SBS) raid backed by airborne snipers.

Seven Nigerian men were detained by the SBS, and they remain on police bail while investigations continue.

The raid was authorised by the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, and the home secretary, Priti Patel, after a tense 10-hour standoff.

The 748ft (228m) Nave Andromeda had been heading towards Southampton, having set sail from Lagos in Nigeria. The ship’s operator, Navios Tankers Management, said the stowaways illegally boarded the Liberian-flagged tanker in Lagos.

Okorie and Sylvester will remain in custody until they appear at Southampton crown court on 29 January.

The five other men arrested on suspicion of seizing or exercising control of a ship by use of threats or force remain on police bail until 25 January.


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