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Navy arrest oil vessel with stolen crude

By Emma Arubi
WARRI-THE Navy authority in Warri, Delta State have arrested a Greece, Athens, owned oil vessel, MT Troaical with International Maritime Organisation, IMO registration no. 7038941 with 10 crewmen carrying 83metric tones of substance suspected to be stolen crude on their way to Cotonou, Benin Republic.

The oil vessel said to belong to Golden Carrier Shipping Services was arrested by men of the Naval Task Group (NTG) on 2 Manta Class boats from NNS Delta at the entrance of the Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Navy at Escravos Bar May 1 and escorted to Warri the next day.

Addressing newsmen on the arrest vessel, the Commanding Officer, NNS Delta, Commodore Henry Babalola warned illegal bunkerers to desist from their nefarious act and comply with the laws of the land or face the full wrath of the Navy.

He disclosed that amongst the 10 crew member are two Ghanian nationals and eight Nigerians whose names he gave as Mr. Felix Ogogo (Captain), Nelson Seanehia (Engr), Yakubu Otun (Bosun) and Teko Peter (Oiler).

Other crew member include Messrs Augstine Eyimofe, Tony Shube, Lucky Tonwe, Sunday Apou, Segun Agbeyegbe and Felix Mogbeyiteren respectively.

According to the Commander, preliminary investigations and confessional statement reveals that the said vessel MT TROAICA was registered in Panama as MT LUCIA 1 and that the original name MT LUCIA 1 was allegedly changed to MT Scorpion in October 2000 before it was it given its current name in 2001 in Cotonou.

Speaking to Vanguard where they paraded before newsmen yesterday at the Naval Base, Warri, Mr. Yakubu Otun said they where to head to Cotonou before they were apprehended, saying that of the ten of them only three of them were old crew members while the rest where only recruited a day before.

The suspects are all currently being detained at the NNS Delta Naval Police Cell while the vessel has been anchored alongside other seized oil vessels like MT Akuada and MT B Excel at the old NPA wharf in Warri.

Commander H. Babalola said they would be handed over to the EFCC for further interrogation and possible prosecution saying that they have not disclosed their sponsors.


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