Home Crime Nigerian Navy Arrests Ghanian, 12 Others For Oil Theft 

Nigerian Navy Arrests Ghanian, 12 Others For Oil Theft 

Nigerian Navy Arrests Ghanian, 12 Others For Oil Theft 

Princess-Ekwi Ajide

The Nigerian Navy has arrested a syndicate of 13 crew members (One Ghanaian and 12 Nigerians) through its newly launched Operation Delta Sanity.

The arrest of the 13 economic saboteurs aboard a Ghanaian owned and registered vessel known as Motor Tanker (MT) SWEET MIRI on 25 February 2024 is a major milestone as they are bent on stealing the nation’s natural resources for personal gains.

The arrest was made after the vessel was observed to have switched off her Automatic Identification System (AIS) in a bid to evade detection, at about 174 nm (approximately 320km) off Nigeria’s coast heading towards Benin Republic.

The infraction by the vessel contravenes the International Ships and Port Security Code (ISPS) and she was tagged a “Vessel of Interest” (VoI) by the navy.

The navy Maritime Domain Awareness infrastructure observed the criminal intent of the vessel and subsequently vectored two Nigerian Navy ships on patrol to interrogate the vessel and it was discovered that MT SWEET MIRI was involved in illegalities and the vessel was subsequently arrested.

The suspicious disposition of the vessel, however, necessitated the swift deployment of Nigerian Navy Ship ABA and Nigerian Navy Ship SOKOTO to intercept the vessel and upon arrest, MT SWEET MIRI was found to be carrying about 2 million litres of product suspected to be crude oil without any form of approval from relevant authorities.

In line with the directive of Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, for an in-depth and independent investigation, relevant approving/prosecuting agencies have been notified for samples collection and in order to further ascertain the culpability or otherwise of the vessel.

This is necessary to unmask the enemies of the Nation and to institute holistic and detailed investigations.

A statement by the Director of Information, Nigerian Navy Rear Admiral AO Ayo-Vaughan assured that the NN through the reinvigorated Operation DELTA SANITY will work to ensure suspected economic saboteurs are brought to book in line with relevant extant laws of the land as it will continue to collaborate with relevant maritime, security and law enforcement agencies in order to closely monitor, evaluate and interdict where necessary.


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