A private security contractor engaged by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPC Ltd) successfully intercepted a vessel transporting 800,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil. The vessel, named MT TURA II with IMO number 6620462, was apprehended by operatives from Messrs. Tantita Security Services on July 7 at an offshore location en route to Cameroon.
Mr. Garba Muhammad, Chief Corporate Communications Officer of NNPC Ltd, released a statement today in Abuja, providing details of the operation. He revealed that the vessel, registered under the Nigerian company HOLAB MARITIME SERVICES LIMITED with Registration Number RC813311, was found to be carrying illegally sourced crude oil from an offshore well jacket in Ondo State, Nigeria. Notably, at the time of the arrest, neither the vessel nor the crude oil cargo had valid documentation.
Preliminary investigations conducted by NNPC Ltd shed light on the vessel’s activities, uncovering an alarming revelation. The MT TURA II had been operating in stealth mode for the past 12 years, with its last reported location being Tin Can Port in July 2011. This finding raises concerns about the vessel’s involvement in illicit activities for an extended period.
The details of the arrest and the outcomes of the investigations were promptly escalated to the appropriate government authorities. The aim is to send a strong warning and serve as a deterrent to individuals engaged in such illegal practices. In line with this objective, the decision has been made to destroy the vessel.
NNPC Ltd emphasizes the importance of destroying vessels involved in transporting stolen crude oil as a crucial measure to deter such activities. This illegal trade not only causes significant economic losses for Nigeria and legitimate stakeholders in the oil industry but also perpetuates corruption, environmental devastation, and social instability.
“We assure Nigerians that we will maintain our efforts and intensify the fight against crude oil theft until it is completely eradicated,” stated Mr. Muhammad. NNPC Ltd remains committed to curbing this illegal trade and its detrimental consequences on the nation’s economy and well-being.
The successful interception of the vessel and the subsequent actions taken by NNPC Ltd serve as a reminder of the ongoing battle against crude oil theft in Nigeria and the determination to bring it to an end.
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