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Captain Of Arrested Vessel Names Collaborator In Alleged Illegal Bunkering Activity

The Captain of MT Kali, a vessel arrested in Bayelsa State by the combined team of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and a private pipeline surveillance security outfit, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL) has named one Captain Niyi as his collaborator.

Speaking to Journalists on Sunday on board the arrested vessel with IMO Number 8782800 at Oporaza, Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, the operational headquarters of Tantita Security Services where the vessel was held awaiting further investigations, Captain David Adeboye said that a serving security personnel whom he identified simply as ‘Captain Niyi’ gave him the directive to embark on the illegal mission with an assurance that “the road had been cleared for a safe sail”.

Captain Adeboye disclosed that
the vessel that has been docked for almost a year now was on a test-run to Bayelsa State from Lagos after maintenance and was instructed by the said ‘Captain Niyi’ to go and lift Automated Gas Oil (AGO) otherwise known as diesel.

He however told newsmen that he “did not know how the crew members eventually loaded the vessel with 119 metric tonnes of crude oil”.

He insisted on not giving out the names of the owners or agents of the vessel or the address of the contractors, saying that it is only the management that could confirm why the supposed AGO turned out to be crude oil.

Addressing journalists earlier, Captain Wariedi Enisuoh, Executive Director(Operations), Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL)disclosed that noted that the vessel carrying a crew of 12 members along with 13 community workers, was intercepted at about 12:25 am on Thursday, January 11, 2024 in the Ekeni Sea, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

Accordng to Caption Enisuoh, “the Operation would not have been successful if not for the support of the men of NSCDC the intercepted vessel was not on a leak activity. The ship was not on a legal activity. It was on an illegal activity. This ship has got no documentation. If you see the video evidence, the electronic evidence and the intelligence we had before we apprehended the ship, you will know that the exact location where we apprehended the ship was not designed for loading crude oil. It was only designed for producing crude oil”.

Captain Enisuoh spoke further, “I will like to seize this opportunity to let Nigerians know that those who are campaigning against private security companies in participating against this fight against oil theft are the bunkerers . Anybody who is campaigning against this fight is a bunkerer, we will not relent.”

Captain Enisuoh explained that the vessel had been on the watch list of the Tantita Security Serviced Nigeria Limited (TSNSL), following intelligence.

He added “precisely, few weeks ago, we have been interested in MT KALi because it has been operating in Nigeria and the International waters illegally carrying crude oil and AGO.

“This time around, it was unable to carryout it’s act successfully. Intelligence came to us, we processed and shared it on the need-to-know basis so that the operation will be successful.

“The ship left Lagos couple of days ago and switched off its AIS. Then we knew it was coming to the Niger Delta

“Further intelligence revealed that it was coming to Pennyton Oil Field operated by She’ll Petrolleum Development Company to load illegal crude oil in Bayelsa.

“On getting to the environment, we alerted our base at Sokebolou in Bayelsa where the operation was launched,” he said.

Captain Enisuoh spoke further, “they were able to detect which oil well was hot enough to discharge it’s content without the aid of a mechanical pump. That means, there must have been an insider. It was a ship and shore connection that was able to bring the operation to a success. We appreciate, NSCDC who helped us to over power them and effect their arrest.”

Caption Enisuoh identified some of the challenges facing the private security company to include: quick backup, bearauecracy in getting permission to move with them.

While commending the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited for taking the bold step to eradicate oil theft, he said that the development had boosted investors confidence, reduce sooth and other environmental hazards.

SOURCE: Independent