Offshore pipe layer Normand Cutter stormed by militants, Nigeria
Offshore pipe layer Normand Cutter was stopped by Nigerian paramilitary Navy boat on Sep 4 in Bight of Biafra, Nigeria, Gulf of Guinea, and boarded by militants, behaving like officials. They checked vessel and vessel’s papers, but according to Solstad manager, writes Dagbladet, “it’s all about money”. Most probably, militants left the vessel after they reached an agreement with Solstad – no doubt about the character of agreement, it’s a ransom. Captain of Normand Cutter of Norwegian nationality recognized Navy boat as former Norway Navy missile boat, 6 of such boats were sold to to the Nigerian warlord Tompolo Ekpemupolo.
Tompolo was the leader of the rebel movement in Niger Delta, after he made a peace with authoirities, he was granted amnesty and a license to run private security company, to fight pirates and to collect tax from vessels plying Nigerian waters, on behalf of NIMASA, notorious The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
It is understood, that the crew is safe, and vessel resumed its operations.