Full details of how Tantita Security intercepted Cameroun bound 800,000-ltrs vessel with stolen crude oil 

Full details of how Tantita Security intercepted Cameroun bound 800,000-ltrs vessel with stolen crude oil 

Following the receipt of credible intelligence, a private security contractor, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, engaged by Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), has intercepted a suspicious vessel with a Cargo of Crude oil on board on July 7, 2023.

Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, is owned by High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo.

The Vessel, MT TURA II (IMO number: 6620462), owned by a Nigerian Registered Company, HOLAB MARITIME SERVICES LIMITED with Registration Number RC813311, was heading to Cameroun with the Cargo on board when it was apprehended at an offshore location (Latitude: 5.8197194477543235°, Longitude: 4.789002723991871°), with the Captain and Crew members on board.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the crude oil cargo onboard was illegally sourced from a well jacket offshore Ondo State, Nigeria.

A statement from the NNPC said there was no valid documentation for the Vessel or the Crude Oil Cargo onboard at the time of the arrest.

Further investigation into the activities of the vessel at the NNPC Ltd. Command and Control Centre also revealed that the Vessel has been operating in stealth mode for the last twelve (12) years. The last reported location of the Vessel was Tin Can Port in July 2011.

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The statement said details of this arrest and the outcomes of the investigations were escalated to the appropriate Government authorities, upon which it was concluded to destroy the Vessel to serve as a strong warning and deterrent to all those participating in such illegal activities to cease and desist.

It added, “Destroying vessels involved in transporting stolen crude oil is of paramount importance as a strong deterrent.

“The illegal trade of stolen crude oil not only inflicts significant economic losses on Nigeria and legitimate stakeholders in the oil industry, but also perpetuates a cycle of corruption, environmental devastation, and social instability.

“NNPC Ltd. assures Nigerians that we will sustain the momentum in the war against crude oil theft until it is brought to a halt.”

How vessel was caught – Tantita 

Briefing Journalists during an inspection of the vessel, anchored at Oporoza river in Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West Local government area of Delta State on Tuesday, the Executive Director, Technical and Operations of Tantita Security Services, Captain Warredi Enisuoh said the vessel was arrested with 13 crew members during a sting operation in Ondo State.

He said the firm had deployed both human and technical intelligence in monitoring the movements of the vessel until it was finally caught last weekend.

Enisuoh disclosed that the original name of the vessel was Ali-Riza-Bey but was altered to MT Tura 11 to evade the eagle eyes is security agencies and, “unknown to the perpetrators, we have been monitoring the movements of the vessel until we finally apprehend her off the coast in Ondo State.”

“It was a bit of a joint operation. As you know, the NNPC has been at the forefront of battling this crude oil theft.

“As you can see, the military has also been very supportive when it comes to battling this crude oil theft. We got intelligence on this vessel a long time back.

“As you know, it is a notorious ship. It has been notorious for stealing crude oil to foreign countries here and there.

“But somehow, it is not stronger than the Nigerian military might and with our intelligence and their support and power, we were able to bring this vessel to book on the 7th of July, 2023.

He confirmed that the vessel had once been arrested for same crude theft but disappeared in mysterious circumstances and “we are here with the same vessel committing the same atrocity.”

“It was under arrest for some time but somehow, somewhere, it was able to evade capture but the current military and its forces were able to heed to our intelligence and jointly, we were able to bring it to book.

“It has been evading capture for a long time and the Tura II has not got any documentation concerning Nigeria within the ship.”

Enisuoh commended the security agencies for their cooperation in the task to rid the maritime domain free of criminal activities recalling that the arrested vessel was constructed in 1965.

Commander, Joint Task Force (JTF) Operatiomn Delta Safe (OPDS) Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferreira, who led other service chiefs to the scene, said investigation is ongoing to unravel the perpetrators of the act.

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