Saturday, March 18, 2006
A Illegal immigrant who stowed away on a Russian cargo ship was taken to police cells in the Hebrides last night. The unidentified man, thought to be in his late forties, had been bought ashore in handcuffs at Stornoway. Two police constables escorted the barefooted, jacketless man from the customs cutter Sentinel in Stornoway harbour and led him into a police van waiting on the quayside. Three high steel gates around King Edward wharf were closed, sealing off the area and thwarting any chance of escape. It followed a day of protracted discussions between the authorities over how best to deal with the situation. The stowaway was discovered on the 19,590-tonne Russian bulk carrier Aleksandr Nevskiy, which is registered in Murmansk, as the vessel sailed up the Minch.
Aleksandr NevskiyChief Constable Murdo Fraser said: "A joint operation on behalf of immigration authorities, Northern Constabulary, Stornoway Port Authority, HM Customs and the MCA, successfully transferred a stowaway from the Aleksandr Nevskiy. The man is now detained and will be held in police cells in Stornoway." A spokesman for Clyde Coastguard, which first dealt with the incident, said: "While it is understood that the man has a partial understanding of a number of languages or dialects, there appeared to be a difficulty in communicating with him in English." The Russian ship was on its way home after discharging cargo in Newport, Wales, when the man was discovered.