The three men who attempted to stow away on a ship due to leave the Port Elizabeth Harbour on Monday evening are in the country illegally.
Tall Ismail, 18, John Clement, 18, and Alidi Mohammed, 25, boarded the liquefied petroleum gas tanker Azeri Gas sometime during the early hours of Monday morning.
They climbed into the ship’s funnel and were arrested during a search before the ship left port.
The three had inhaled engine fumes and were admitted to hospital for treatment.
All three men appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court yesterday and were remanded in custody.
Police said that the men failed to provide any form of identification, passports, visas or permits to show they were legally in South Africa.
Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said the men had all been discharged from hospital and detained at the Humewood police station.
“All three were detained for charges under the Immigration Act,” she said.
“We are waiting for Home Affairs to verify their status in the country.
“They will be formally charged in court and handed over to the immigration officials at Home Affairs to investigate.”
Janse van Rensburg said it was unclear when and how the men arrived in South Africa and why they wanted to board the Azeri Gas.
The men are due to appear in the same court tomorrow.
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