Navy Impounds Marine Tanker for Suspected Illegal Oil Bunkering

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Senator Iroegbu in Abuja

Operatives of the Nigerian Navy have arrested a Marine Tanker code-named ‘Mt Marina’ for suspected illegal bunkering activities.

The Director of Information (DINFO), Commodore Christian Ezekobe, said in a statement on Tuesday that as at the time of the arrest on April 28, 2016, the vessel was laden with 100 metric tons (MT) of suspected illegal refined AGO.

Ezekobe stated that MT Marina, which was arrested by a naval warship, Nigerian Navy Ship (NBS) Andoni, off River Sombreiro, was intercepted during a routine patrol of the area.

“It was however discovered that the vessel was processing approval for 200 MT as a cover-up of her illegal activities. Meanwhile, the vessel and crew will be handed over to relevant prosecuting agencies after investigations,” he stressed.

In a related development, he said, a naval patrol team deployed by NNS Delta has arrested 13 persons suspected to be engaged in illegal oil bunkering, crude oil theft and piracy.

Ezekobe said that while 12 suspects were picked up at Forcados River, one suspect was arrested after some sea pirates engaged the naval patrol team in a shootout at Ndolo community in Ekeremo Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.

According to him, the 12 suspects earlier arrested on April 23, 2016 were picked up when the patrol team intercepted two Cotonou boats laden with about 150MT of substance suspected to be illegal refined AGO.

He listed other items recovered from the suspects to include 31 tanks measuring 5000 litres containing illegally refined AGO, 13 pumping machines, eight empty tanks of 5000 litres each and seven boats fitted with 115HP and 75HP outboard engines.