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PRETORIA, October 25 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian representatives in Nigeria are optimistic about the prospects for release of the Russian crew and the vessel Myre Seadiver detained in the port of Lagos with a small amount of firearms and ammunition on board, as this is not a matter of contraband but of documents being improperly filed.
“If this were contraband, the crew would have long since been in jail. And now they can walk freely about the vessel and can talk by phone and on the internet with Russia,” a representative of the marine agent told ltar-Tass by phone.
The source said the documents for arms were incorrectly filed. “It should have been indicated that the arms were needed for the vessel to be able to perform its functions as a standby safety vessel. Now this will be corrected,” he said.
Three months ago there was a similar case with a Polish ship in Lagos. It carried explosives for building operations and the documents were incorrectly filed. “Such things often happen here,” the representative of the marine agent said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Wednesday that “the embassy [of the Russian Federation] has made the necessary demarches to the related Nigerian bodies to unblock the situation. Contraband is out of question.”
Myre Seadiver departed from the area of Madagascar and was bound for the capital of Guinea, Conakry. It called at Lagos to make repair, change crew and replenish stocks.