A private security contractor, Messrs. Tantita Security Services, has intercepted a suspicious Vessel with a cargo of crude oil onboard.
Tantita, a security company engaged by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) intercepted the vessel on Friday, July 7, 2023 following the receipt of credible intelligence, the national oil company said in a statement on Monday.
According the company, 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 Cameroun 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.
NNPCL, in a statement signed by its chief corporate communications officer, Garba Deen Muhammad, said preliminary investigations revealed that the crude oil cargo onboard was illegally sourced from a well jacket offshore in Ondo State, Nigeria.
It also said 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 12 years,” it said, adding that the last reported location of the Vessel was Tin Can Port in July 2011.
NNPC said that 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.
“NNPC Ltd. assures Nigerians that we will sustain the momentum in the war against crude oil theft until it is brought to a halt,” it added.