Four Nigerian stowaways ‘stormed cargo ship, smeared faeces on windows of bridge and demanded vessel be moved closer to shore so they could swim to Britain before being seized by elite SBS’
- The men were discovered stowing away on ship heading to UK from Nigeria
- All four have been charged with affray after SBS seized Grande Tema cargo ship
- Samuel Jolumi, 26, and Ishola Sunday, 27 faced Chelmsford magistrates today
- Appeared alongside co-defendants Toheeb Popoola, 26, and Joberto McGee, 20
Four immigrants who allegedly stormed a ship and smeared faeces on its windows as they attempted to enter Britain faced court today.
The men tried to take control of the 77-ft Grande Tema cargo vessel, which was coming to the UK from Nigeria, magistrates heard.
Crew members had fed and clothed the stowaways after discovering the men aboard.
But the men are said to have demanded that the ship be moved closer to shore so they could swim to England.
SBS agents seized the ship (pictured) after it was allegedly stormed by four men who reportedly wanted to be brought closer to the UK shore
Four men appeared in court this morning after being accused of affray after the ship was seized and docked in Tilbury (pictured, officers at the scene) following the alleged incident
An SBS rescue team seized the ship and the men faced Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court in Essex this morning.
Samuel Jolumi, 26, Ishola Sunday , 27, Toheeb Popoola, 26, and Joberto McGee, 20, were all charged with affray after the alleged raid on December 21 near the port of Tilbury.
They stood behind the reinforced glass of the dock in Court Room 3 for the brief hearing with the help of three interpreters and six security guards – but did not enter a plea.
The case will be put back for 21 days as further charges are considered including the Aviation and Maritime Security Act, which could carry a life sentence.
Wearing red and green prison issued-jumpers the men sat still as this was heard. Prosecutor Sam Doyle spelled out the case in the short hearing, before asking for a three week adjournment as the case ‘appears to be under charged’.
Ms Doyle said: ‘These are four Nigerian nationals who boarded a ship as stowaways, that ship was headed towards Tilbury in Essex.
The immigrants are said to have smeared faeces on the ship (pictured) and this morning appeared before magistrates in Chelmsford
‘They were discovered on that ship that had departed from Lagos in Nigeria and they were held in a quarantine cabin behind the bridge.
‘The crew welded a set of bars over a port hole and secured bars over the exterior of the door.
‘It is a working vessel and it wasn’t possible to have four stowaways left to roam the ship.
‘On the morning of Friday 21st December they were quarantined and the bar fitted across the window was bent down allowing one of them to escape through the window and remove the bars across the door.’
The crew managed to maintain control of the ship and called police who contacted the SBS who quickly detained the men.
Defence Mitchell Cohen argued the case should not be delayed as the men were being held without further charge it was ‘anathema to English justice’ to slow proceedings.
Chair of the bench Dr James Bettley disagreed and the four men will appear at Southend Magistrates Court on January 18th.
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