The command’s spokesman, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Friday that the suspects were responsible for recent coordinated attacks on policemen in the state.

The 17 sea pirates attacked the men of Special Protection Unit (SPU) Base five, Benin on May 24 while they were on duty at Egelegele River in Degema Council in Rivers.

“The dastard act by the sea pirates resulted to our men losing their arms and ammunition during the attack.

“However, in a well coordinated operation in the late hours of Wednesday night, operatives of the Marine Division of the Rivers command arrested the suspects.’’

Omoni said items recovered from the suspects includes, two AK 47 magazines, charms and amulets, mobile phones, gas cylinder, N50,000 cash and two speed boats allegedly used in the attack.

The suspects are currently helping the police with useful confessions to the attacks on personnel.

“Also, the command has intensified efforts to arrest the remnants of the criminal gang that attacked passenger boats along the Degema, Asari Toru and Akuku Toru waterways,” he added.

The police spokesman said that the Commissioner of Police in Rivers, Mr Joseph Mukan appealed to residents of coastal communities to be conscious of activities of sea pirates in their localities.

He urged residents to assist the police with useful information on the whereabouts of sea pirates through the telephone numbers: 08032003514, 08028915462 and 08182157778.