Tantila Security Services, a private security contractor engaged by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, has intercepted a suspicious vessel with a cargo of 800,000 litres of crude oil on board on July 7, 2023.
According to the statement by the state-owned company on Twitter, signed by Garba Deen Muhammad chief corporate communications officer, this was done following the receipt of credible intelligence.
NNPC said the Vessel, MT TURA II (IMO number: 6620462), owned by a Nigerian Registered Company, Holab Maritime Services Limited with Registration Number RC813311, was heading to Cameroon with the Cargo on board when it was apprehended at an offshore location (Latitude: 5.8197194477543235°, Longitude: 4.789002723991871°), with the Captain and Crew members on board.
According to the NNPC, 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.
“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.” The company said.
The NNPC assures Nigerians that it will sustain the momentum in the war against crude oil theft until it is brought to a halt.
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