A private security contractor for NNPC Limited, Messrs. Tantita Security Services, has apprehended a suspicious 800,000 capacity vessel with a cargo of crude oil on board.
Garba Deen Muhammad, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Limited, disclosed this in Abuja on July 10, 2023.
The apprehended vessel, with the identification MT TURA II (IMO Number: 6620462), RC813311, was said to be heading to Cameroun with the Cargo on board upon interception at Latitude: 5.8197194477543235°, Longitude: 4.789002723991871°, with the Captain and Crew members on board.
Investigations revealed that the said vessel has been operating illegally in the exportation of oil for over twelve years.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the crude oil cargo onboard was illegally sourced from a well jacket offshore Ondo State, Nigeria. There was no valid documentation for the Vessel or the Crude Oil Cargo onboard at the time of the arrest.
“Further investigation into the activities of the vessel at the NNPC Ltd. Command and Control Centre also revealed that the Vessel has been operating in stealth mode for the last twelve (12) years. The last reported location of the Vessel was Tin Can Port in July 2011,” the NNPC spokesperson revealed.
“Details of this arrest and the outcomes of the investigations were escalated to the appropriate Government authorities, upon which it was concluded to destroy the Vessel to serve as a strong warning and deterrent to all those participating in such illegal activities to cease and desist.
“Destroying vessels involved in transporting stolen crude oil is of paramount importance as a strong deterrent. The illegal trade of stolen crude oil not only inflicts significant economic losses on Nigeria and legitimate stakeholders in the oil industry, but also perpetuates a cycle of corruption, environmental devastation, and social instability,” he added.
He ended by reassuring the public that the commission will continue to wage war against illegal oil theft until it is brought to a standstill.