Liberia Maritime Authority to prosecute bulk carrier crew for alleged murder and dumping of stowaways

The Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Bulk Beothuk, later renamed Ophelia, in 2019 (Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Yury Kamenev)

The Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) said it was making every effort to ensure the captain and crew members of a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship that allegedly threw more than a dozen people a- overboard are apprehended and prosecuted in accordance with Liberian and international law.

The bulk carrier incident Ophelia allegedly involved around 14 stowaways claiming to be Nigerians who were found hiding on the ship.

The individuals allegedly illegally boarded the vessel while it was docked in Warri, Nigeria on September 7. The crew found all 14 of them three days later as the ship sailed off Liberia.

Two of the stowaways are said to have died following their discovery by Ophelia‘screw.

The other 12 individuals were later recovered from the water by the crews of some Liberian fishing boats.

Marine Commissioner Lenn Eugene Nagbe said LiMA has launched a full investigation into the incident to ensure everyone involved is held accountable.

Nagbe said other Liberian government agencies, including the Liberia Immigration Service, are also currently conducting a full-scale investigation.

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