Nigerian Navy releases detained Swiss ship

Image: ABC Marine.
Image: ABC Marine.

MT San Padre Pio returned to Switzerland after three years’ detention in Nigeria.


The Nigerian government has released the Swiss tanker, MT San Padre Pio, to the government of Switzerland.

The vessel and its 16 Ukrainian crew were arrested by the Nigeria navy on January 23rd, 2018 for alleged illegal entry and transport of natural gas.

A Federal Ministry of Justice official, Francis Oni, handed over the vessel and cargo to representatives of the Swiss government at a brief ceremony in Onne, Rivers State.

After the seizure, Mr. Oni said: “MT San Padre Pio was caught transferring gas oil into another ship on Nigerian waters in the middle of the night without permission from relevant authorities.

“Unfortunately, the Swiss government, probably not understanding how the system of Nigeria works, instituted a court action…”

Following talks between the two countries, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed.

“The MoU also stated that after its release, the vessel would depart Nigeria’s maritime space, while the Swiss government would proceed to withdraw the suit from the tribunal,” Mr. Oni said.

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