Three Georgians on board of the arrested ship in Nigeria

Gergian citizens are kept in custody for already eight months in Nigeria., 23 Jul 2014 - 19:30, Tbilisi,Georgia

Three Georgian sailors are embroiled in a weapons smuggling scandal in Nigeria.

The men, Rezo Katamadze, Jaba Duadze and another Georgian citizen, were sailors on board a ship that was arrested in Nigeria. The men, and sailors of other nationalities, were held in custody for two months before being returned to the ship, which is stopped.

According to the cruising company, the cargo ship was sailing under the Panama flag and was arrested for illegal transportation of arms.

The crew members are not allowed to relocate and are currently controlled by local law enforcement officers.

News of the Georgian men’s arrests became public after the father of one of the sailors addressed the Marine Transport Agency and media and asked for help.

According to the father, the crew members have not received their salaries. The sailor’s employer said the men’s salaries were late because documentation was not properly prepared due to the arrest of the ship.

Head of the Georgian Marine Transport Agency Mamuka Akhalkaci confirmed the ship was arrested for smuggling weapons.

"The reason for arresting the ship was because illegal and contraband military goods were found aboard. Our Agency has done everything we can at this point,” Akhalkaci said.

"We have informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian Maritime administration. Now we are waiting to see how things develop,” he said.