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Four Nigerian stowaways have been jailed for seven years after hurling faeces at elite SBS sailors and vowing to infect them with HIV

Four Nigerian stowaways have been jailed for a total of seven years after hurling faeces at elite SBS sailors and vowing to infect them with HIV during a tense stand-off in the Thames Estuary.

The stowaways also threatened to kill crew members and armed themselves with metal poles when they broke free from quarantine on the 78,000-tonne Italian merchant ship on 21 December 2018 and said they would steer it to the UK.

Helicopters with specialist sailors were sent to rescue the Grande Tema's crew and arrest the men while the ship floated off the Essex coast.

Samuel Jolumi, 27, Ishola Sunday, 28, Toheeb Popoola, 27, and Joberto McGee, 21, were all found guilty of affray after an eight-week trial in the Old Bailey. Popoola and McGee were also found guilty of making threats to kill.

All were cleared of attempting to hijack the ship.

The group was found by the captain days after the vessel set sail from Lagos, Nigeria, and placed in quarantine before they mutinied five days later.


Samuel Jolumi, 27, (left) and Ishola Sunday, 28, (right) are two of four Nigerians that have been jailed after throwing faeces at sailors and threatening to infect them with HIV after breaking free from quarantine in a merchant vessel off the Essex coast



Toheeb Popoola, 27, (left) and Joberto McGee, 21, (right) were found guilty of affray along with Jolumi and Sunday. Popoola and McGee were also found guilty of making threats to kill

At least one member of the group made 'throat-slitting' gestures at the 27-strong crew and McGee mouthed the words: 'I kill you'.

Faeces was also smeared across the windows of the cabin that the crew had barricaded themselves into.

The grim gestures can be seen in CCTV footage played to the court, while the stowaways can also be seen threatening to break the glass of the cabin and steer the ship to the UK unless the captain did so before 6am.

A second clip also shows Poopola charging at the window of the bridge, while the other three roam the upper decks brandishing litre-bottles of their own urine.
Two of the stowaways were caught by sailors while foraging on the upper deck, while Italian captain Antonio Raggi found the other two hanging over the railings near the ship's propellers in dangerous waters.

They were welcome with smiles by the crew, offered food and placed into quarantine, but rebelled five days later as the ship approached Britain.

A tense 14-hour stand-off ensued on 21 December 2018 before special forces boarded the ship under cover of darkness and arrested the stowaways.

After the 27-strong crew called for help the Special Boat Service arrived by helicopter and boarded the ship on 21 December 2018 (pictured above)
A tense 14-hour stand-off ensued on the Grande Tema after the four men broke free. CCTV footage shows some of them wandering the top deck holding bottles of their own urine

Popoola and McGee had previously been sent back to Nigeria after stowing away on separate ships, while Sunday is a married father-of-two who took a 'chance' decision to board the ship.

Popoola has stowed himself away three times previously, and has also applied for asylum, and McGee, who organised the riot, said he had dreams of becoming a footballer when he reached the UK.

McGee also told Essex police the ship's crew had treated them 'like dogs' because 'the food was awful'.

The force also said in a statement that the group wanted to apply for asylum for 'a better life'.

'As to smearing excrement on the window, he confirmed that he had done that, as he wanted them to know how serious he was,' they added.

The captain told the court he feared the group could have been 'terrorists' or 'Boko Haram' and may have had weapons stashed on the ship.
source daily mail


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