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Four Nigerian ‘pirates’ are charged with an attempted hijacking in the UK

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Four Nigerian ‘pirates trying to get into the UK’ are charged with attempted hijacking ‘after they stormed a ship heading through the Thames Estuary and smeared faeces on the windows before being seized by special forces’

  • Container ship sent out alert after stowaways were found on board last month
  • Four Nigerian men have now been charged with attempting to hijack the ship
  • They did not enter pleas when they appeared in court and were kept in custody 

Four migrants accused of trying to hijack a container ship heading to Britain have been hit with fresh charges this morning.

The 770-foot cargo ship Grande Tema, sailing off the coast of Kent, had to call in British special forces in December after stowaways were discovered on board.

Four Nigerian men Samuel Jolumi, 26, Ishola Sunday, 27, Toheeb Popoola, 26, and Joberto McGee, 20, were today charged with attempted hijacking, having previously been accused of affray.

A container ship off the coast of Kent was stormed by special forces after stowaways were found on board in December

The crew of the ship locked themselves in the bridge after the stowaways apparently broke out of a cabin they were being held in. 

The stowaways smashed some windows and smeared faeces others, Southend Magistrates Court was told

A note was even passed to the crew which read said there would be ‘a big problem’ if the ship wasn’t moved closer to shore so they could swim to England, it is alleged.

The situation was brought under control after Special Boat Squadron team stormed the ship and arrests were made.

The four men today appeared in the dock two at a time with two guards and interpreters – but did not enter a plea.

Four men have now appeared in court charged with attempting to hijack the cargo ship

Prosecutor Lesley Chipps told the court: ‘The defendants were stowaways on a vessel, it was a working vessel. 

‘The crew then became aware of them and they were then secured into a room and provided food etc. 

‘The allegation is then they then made good their escape from that room. 

‘The captain had to secure his crew into a secure room, so they were safe.  They then approached the room with iron bars and made the threats. 

‘The ship was off the port of Tilbury and forces had to board the ship to get them 

‘At that point they were fully compliant when they were taken off the vessel.’ 

The case was transferred to crown court. The men were remanded in custody.

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