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FG orders destruction of ship intercepted in Delta with stolen crude

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Vessel on fire

The Federal Government has ordered security agencies in Delta State to destroy a vessel caught with 150,000 tonnes of stolen crude oil. The vessel would be destroyed today with explosives, The Guardian learnt.

The ship named, Tura II, with a capacity of 500,000 tonnes, was intercepted in the wee hours of Saturday by Tompolo’s pipeline surveillance firm, Tantita Security Nigeria Ltd, stealing crude oil from a wellhead.

Guardian quoting Tantita’s Executive Director, Technical and Operations, Captain Warredi Enisuoh, said that the ship had been caught 10 years ago in same act, but managed to get away, changing its name from Ali Riza Bey to Tura II.

Enisuoh said they had been monitoring activities of the vessel for a while, noting it was intercepted when it came in the early hours to steal crude. He said the vessel, which is over 50 years old, had already loaded about 150,000 tonnes of crude oil when it was impounded.

Enisuoh disclosed that the ship usually takes stolen crude to Ghana, Cameroun and Togo.

The Commander of Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferreira, disclosed that the vessel had 12 crewmembers, who, he said, were being investigated.

Ferreira said the vessel was intercepted through intelligence from stakeholders. He disclosed that they have secured approval from the Federal Government to destroy the vessel after collecting samples of its content and analyzed them.

A team from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), led by Zakariya Buduwara, representing Chief Upstream Investment Officer, Bala Wunti, was on ground, yesterday, to inspect the impounded vessel.

The captain, who identified himself as Odubiyi Samson, told journalists that the vessel was hired by a group, but didn’t know the commodity they were conveying was stolen crude oil.







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