Four Nigerians stowaways arrested in the United Kingdom in December 2018, have been jailed.
The Nigerians are; Samuel Jolumi, 27, Ishola Sunday, 28, Toheeb Popoola, 27, and Joberto McGee, 21,
The convicts reportedly threw faeces at elite SBS sailors while on the ship, and vowed to infect them with HIV during a tense stand-off in the Thames Estuary.
Reports say the stowaways also threatened to kill crew members with metal poles when they broke free from quarantine on the 78,000-tonne Italian merchant ship on December 21, 2018, saying they will steer the ship to the UK.
Helicopters with specialist sailors then deployed to rescue the Grande Tema’s crew and arrest the men, while the ship floated off the Essex coast.
The suspects were all found guilty after an eight-week trial in the Old Bailey. Popoola and McGee were also guilty of making threats to kill.
However, they were cleared of attempting to hijack the ship.
Popoola was jailed for 31 months, while McGee was sentenced to 32 months behind bars. Sunday and Popoola were jailed for 16 months each.
They will serve half of their sentences behind bars, and may be detained for deportation proceedings.
The group was found by the captain days after the vessel set sail from Lagos, and placed in quarantine before they revolted five days later.
One them allegedly made ‘throat-slitting’ gestures at the 27-strong crew.
Faeces was smeared across the windows of the cabin that the crew had barricaded themselves into.
Popoola and McGee had previously been sent back to Nigeria from the UK 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.
McGee, who organised the riot, said he had dreams of becoming a footballer when he reached the UK.