The arrest, which was made in the early hours of Saturday at 26 nautical miles offshore, followed intelligence the ENC picked from the Nigerian marine unit.
MT Miriam had nine crew on board and it was carrying 1,500 tonnes of crude oil from Nigeria.
Speaking to a section of the press, Lieutenant Maxwell Asola, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the ENC, explained that the eight hijackers got on board MT Miriam using a smaller vessel.
The pirates, whose names were not readily known by the ENC, had on them 300 live rounds of 10 loaded magazines, four AK 47 rifles, a pump action gun, three hand-handle VHF radios, 10 digital cameras, 18 mobile phones, 43,850 Naira and US$1,270.
He said the owner of MT Miriam, who was in Ghana, earlier reported to the ENC that some persons had hijacked his vessel on the high seas and demanded a huge ransom.
The ENC, Lieutenant Asola said, later picked intelligence from the Nigerian marine unit that MT Miriam, carrying crude oil from their shore, had veered off its original track and was heading towards the Ghana waters.
The Command immediately relayed the information to the ENC patrol team on board GNS Blika, who tracked the Nigerian oil tanker 26 nautical miles offshore.
The Ghana Navy crew went aboard MT Miriam, and after about four hours’ life-threatening search for the heavily armed pirates, they were eventually captured hiding in two different groups in the engine and cargo compartments. There was no exchange of fire between them, the ENC PRO indicated.
The arrested pirates were later brought to the ENC berth at the Tema Port at about 7pm from the high seas.
The nine crew onboard MT Miriam, he noted, were neither hurt nor manhandled by the pirates.
MT Miriam is presently under armed anchorage at the Tema Port while the hijackers were to be handed over to the Tema Regional Police Command.
From Inusa MUSAH, Tema
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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