Four stowaways have been jailed after they ran amok on a container ship they secretly boarded the Grimaldi Group ship in Lagos, Nigeria, before it set off on its trading route to Tilbury in Essex, U.K
The men, from Nigeria and Liberia, waved metal poles and threw faeces and urine after being found hiding on the vessel in December 2018. When it reached the Thames Estuary bound for Tilbury docks, Essex, they demanded to be dropped off in Britain.
The men were jailed for affray offences. Samuel Jolumi, 27, Ishola Sunday, 28, Toheeb Popoola, 27, and Joberto McGee, 21, were cleared of attempting to hijack the 78,000-tonne Grande Tema ship following the same trial.
Two of the men made cut-throat gestures at the crew, who had barricaded themselves on the bridge, the court heard. Following a 14-hour standoff, special forces swooped on the ship to rescue the sailors.
Popoola and ringleader McGee were jailed for 31 months and 32 months respectively for making threats to kill and affray.
In mitigation, it was claimed Popoola had acted out of “desperation” and that McGee had been fleeing West Africa to avoid being forced to join a “tribal gang”.
Sunday had made an “impulsive decision” to hide aboard the ship and “wants nothing other than to go home and rebuild his life”, the court was told. Sunday and Jolumi were handed jail terms of 16 months for affray.