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Nigerian Security Operatives Intercept Vessel with 800,000 Litres of Suspected Stolen Crude Oil

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ABUJA, Nigeria – The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC Ltd.) and its private security contractor have made a significant dent in Nigeria’s battle against oil theft with the interception of a vessel reportedly carrying 800,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil.

The vessel, identified as MT TURA II, IMO number: 6620462, was seized on July 7, 2023, in an offshore operation executed by Messrs. Tantita Security Services.

The boat was said to be on course for Cameroon at the time of the seizure, according to a statement released by NNPC Ltd.’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Garba Muhammad, on Monday, July 10, 2023, in Abuja.

“The Vessel is owned by a Nigerian company, HOLAB MARITIME SERVICES LIMITED with Registration Number RC813311. Preliminary investigations have revealed that the crude oil cargo onboard was illicitly obtained from a well jacket offshore in Ondo State, Nigeria,” Muhammad explained.

He added, “There was no valid documentation for the vessel or the crude oil cargo onboard at the time of the arrest.”

The audacious vessel’s activity didn’t end there, as Muhammad shed light on the extensive clandestine operations the vessel has been partaking in, evading authorities for over a decade.

“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,” he stated, “The last reported location of the vessel was Tin Can Port in July 2011.”

Muhammad confirmed that the details of the arrest and the outcomes of the investigations have been passed on to the appropriate government authorities, suggesting a robust response could follow.

He proposed the destruction of the vessel, indicating that such strong measures could deter potential offenders from participating in similar illegal activities.

He stressed, “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.”

Muhammad concluded by assuring Nigerians of NNPC Ltd.’s unwavering commitment to fight oil theft.

“We will sustain the momentum in the war against crude oil theft until it is brought to a halt.”

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