Arrested Vessel with 150,000 Litres Stolen Crude Oil  Set Ablaze in Delta

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

Operatives of Tantita Security Limited and Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) yesterday set ablaze, a vessel ladened with 150,000 litres of stolen crude oil in Delta State.

The vessel, MT TURA II(IMO Number:6620462) with Registration Number, RC 813311, owned by Holab Maritime Services Limited was set ablaze at exactly 1.09 pm at a creek close to Bennett Island in Warri South West Local government area of the state.

The vessel was conveying crude oil from Nigeria to Cameroon when it was arrested with 11 Nigerians and one Ghanaian onboard on last Friday.

A Nigerian Airforce fighter jet was deployed to give effect to the burning of the vessel, in an attempt to blow it  up but failed due to the strong metals used in building the vessel in 1965.

The fighter jet, which arrived at about 3.49 pm fired several shots targeting the vessel but failed to decimate it  and had to return to base.

However, Tantita Security and the military resorted to setting the vessel ablaze manually.

Tantita Executive Director on Technical Operations, Captain Warredi Enisuoh told journalists that the government made a swift decision to destroy the vessel.

“The whole idea of destroying the vessel is to send a strong message to all would-be investors that this is what they are to face if they decide to set up this type of business,” he said.

Enisuoh said illegal bunkerers and their sponsors should be ready to lose their assets as the government and security forces will do all it takes to bring them to book.

Top hierarchy of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Security & Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as officials of the Delta State Government were on ground during the burning of the vessel.

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