Four Nigerians Hid In Ship Enroute To Brazil

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The photo of these four men hiding at the helm of a ship does not truly show the horror of the 13 day journey they made from their native Nigeria to the coast of South American country, Brazil.

The stowaways were discovered by crew members of another ship that passed close by in Vitoria Bay, in Holy Spiritin southeastern Brazil.

According to a representative of the shipping company, these are immigrants “they had no idea” from where the ship was heading, destined for the port of Santos, before hiding there.

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Police rescued the men after a phone call.

The group reportedly hid on the Liberian-flagged ship Ken Wave shortly before it left the port of Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, on June 27.

“They were in a very precarious situation, but they had no serious health problems. they wore some days without food and at least four days without water”Ramón Almeida, head of the Immigration Office of the Superintendency of the Federal Police (PF) in Espiritu Santo, explained to BBC News Brazil.

Two immigrants in the group spoke English and could communicate with police, he added.

When embarking in Lagos, they brought food and water with them, but provisions ran out en route.

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“Our experience shows that these people just hide on the boats without even knowing what their final destination will be. They can stop at any port in the world,” the delegate explained to BBC News Brazil journalist Leandro Machado.

According to Eugênio Ricas, Superintendent of the PF in Espírito Santo, the Nigerians will be the responsibility of the company that owns the ship Ken Wave “until it forced return to Nigeria” in 25 days.The men had been without food or drink for several days.

According to police chief Ramón Almeida, the company that owns the ship is legally responsible for accommodating them in a hotel in Brazil and financing their return to the African country, even though the company was unaware that the Nigerians were on the ship.

“They are allowed to stay in Brazil for 25 days, until they have documents, buy tickets and return to Nigeria”, Almeida said.

However, there are some alternatives for the group to stay in Brazil legally, apply for shelter or permanent residence.

Marina Rongo, an adviser to the Conectas NGO’s Democratic Space Strengthening Program, explains that the migration law, passed in 2017, contains provisions that could serve to prevent the repatriation of Nigerians.

“It is predicted that the repatriation will not take place if there are reasons that could put the person in danger, even if it is claimed that they had no documents”, he explained.

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