Navy Intercepts Vessel With Stolen Crude Oil, Indicts Tantita 

By Damilare Adeleye

The Nigerian Navy, on Thursday, disclosed that it intercepted a 77-meter-long Motor Tanker Vinnalaris 1 Lagos.

The vessel was involved in illicit crude oil siphoning from one of the well heads at the EBESAN oil field, approximately seven nautical miles off the coast of the Awoye riverine community in Ilaje Local Government Area, Ondo State.

It was further stated that there were seventeen crew members on board at the time of the arrested.

According to a statement made by the service’s spokesperson, Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, the arrest of the ship was based on reliable information that the Base received about the illicit activities of crude oil thieves at the site.

This information allowed FOB Igbokoda personnel to quickly deploy in order to enforce the arrest of the ship and her crew.

The statement said that “Notably, as the anti-Crude Oil Theft Patrol Team of FOB Igbokoda approached MT VINNALARIS 1 Lagos, the two boats attached to the vessel fled on sighting the Naval personnel which confirmed the engagement of the vessel in illegality.

“Accordingly, on arrival at the scene, it was discovered that the vessel was actively involved in siphoning crude oil from both sides of the wellhead. Consequently, upon further search and interrogation, it was further discovered that the vessel had onboard 17 crew members of Nigerian nationality.

“The vessel’s storage capacity is about 15,000 metric tonnes and as of the time of arrest, she had loaded about 500 Metric tonnes of crude oil.”

The service, however, alleged that Tantita staff members were complicit in the unlawful activity.

It is understood that Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL) is a private security company employed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPCL) to counter attempt of oil theft in the State.