Navy impounds Ghana-bound vessel with stolen crude oil

Navy impounds Ghana-bound vessel with stolen crude oil
• Shifts battle to brown water

The Nigerian Navy, Central Naval Command, has arrested nine Nigerians and three Ghanaians on board a vessel laden with crude oil suspected to have been stolen from Akassa community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The suspects were arrested on Friday by operatives of the Forward Operating Base of the Navy, known as FORMOSO, offshore Nun River on board MT FRANKENSEN, allegedly loaded with over 1,092,000 litres of stolen crude oil.
On Saturday, the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sidi-Ali Usman, in company with Command Operations Officer, CNC, Commodore Emmanuel Enemor; Commanding Officer, FORMOSO, Capt. Aniedi Ibok; Commander Samuel Garba, among others, visited the arrested vessel.
Usman told reporters that the vessel was headed for Tema in Ghana, where the product was expected to be disposed of.

“The captain, giving further details of their mission, revealed that a local pilot was used to navigate the vessel into Nun River while one Mr. Destiny was the agent that supplied the product.
“MT FRANKENSEN was loaded with over 1,092,000 litres of stolen crude oil contained in eight of the 10 tanks compartments onboard the vessel at the time of the arrest.”
Usman said the vessel, which measured 83 metres length and eight metres breadth had a tonnage capacity of 1,200 metric tonnes.
He said preliminary investigation showed at the time of arrest that the vessel could not tender relevant documents and permits required for the movement of petroleum products through Nigerian waters.
He added that the vessel’s movement log showed evidence of previous voyages to Ghana.
“It seems reasonable therefore to infer that this is not the first attempt by the owner of the vessel to steal crude oil in Nigeria for the purpose of selling in Ghana,” he said.

Usman reiterated the determination of the command under his watch to completely eradicate the menace of oil theft, illegal bunkering and other forms of criminalities in the command’s area of responsibility.
Meanwhile the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), Rear Adm. Azubuike Ajuonu, said the Nigerian Navy has shifted patrol from traditional deep sea, to brown water, to tackle increasing crude oil theft.
Ajuonu said this in Lagos on Sunday at the end of the second bi-annual inspection of the command.
“The role of the Nigerian Navy in today’s contemporary Nigeria, has gradually shifted from the traditional deep sea patrols, to brown water operations, within the creeks.
“The role of the Nigerian Navy in today’s contemporary Nigeria, has gradually shifted from the traditional deep sea patrols, to brown water operations, within the creeks.
“Equally, we have also been called upon to participate in internal security operations in parts of the country with security challenges,” he said.
Ajuonu said efforts had been intensified in the training of personnel to enhance their capacity to function effectively in view of the present day challenges.

“We are all aware of the security challenges facing the country, particularly the illegalities within our maritime environment. These challenges demand high state of discipline, loyalty and professionalism.
“As trainers, we must be seen to be on top of these values, Hence, we must not relent in our strides towards producing a pool of well-trained and highly proficient personnel,” he said.
Ajuonu called on naval personnel, to be loyal to constituted civil authorities, adding that the service should strive to steer the course of honour, selfless service and dedication.
“We must also strive to steer the course of dedication to our duties and judicious use of resources, and above all, remain loyal to our great nation .
“Sometimes, along the course of our duty and career, there come challenges that would stand as a test of our strength, efficiency and loyalty.
“For us, that time is now, and as such, we must all rise and contribute our quota towards moving navy and the nation, forward,” the naval chief declared.

 

 

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