Nigerian Navy Nabs Masterminds of Abduction of Crew Members
The attention of the Nigerian Navy has been drawn to media reports relating to the suspected hijack of a Palau flagged Tanker, MT APECUS, off the coast of Bonny, Nigeria.

The alleged hijack of the vessel occurred on the 19 April 2019, resulting in the alleged abduction of 7 crew members comprising 5 Indian nationals and 2 Nigerians.

A recent report indicated that the 5 Indians were released by the pirates who hijacked the vessel.

However, investigations by the Nigerian Navy indicate that this alleged hijack was not executed by pirates as claimed in the report but masterminded by a criminal syndicate operating the vessel.

Consequently, the Nigerian Navy has arrested one Mr Osimili Adah, the agent of the vessel, who confessed to have masterminded the abduction of the crew of the vessel following a disagreement within a syndicate involved in crude oil theft.

Mr Adah had since been handed over to the NPF for further investigation and prosecution.

Furthermore, the Nigerian Navy is making necessary efforts to debrief the released crew with the view to obtaining intelligence for future operations towards the arrest of other collaborators in this saga.

It will be recalled that in a press release, NIMASA alluded to the involvement of MT APECUS in criminality within Nigerian waters.

This was based on the fact that the vessel had been conducting trading activities in Nigerian waters since 2014 without valid permits or documentation.

NIMASA also observed that the vessel has changed name and the flag under which the vessel operated at least 15 times since 1993 and made 4 MMSI changes which all point to her suspected involvement in illegal activities. Furthermore, it was difficult to ascertain the past movement of the vessel as her Automatic Identification System (AIS) was often switched off for weeks, contrary to standard practice.

These developments are considered deliberate acts to avoid detection. Notwithstanding, the Nigerian Navy remains committed to curbing the menace of crude oil theft and other forms of illegalities in Nigeria’s and the larger Gulf of Guinea maritime domain.

SULEMAN DAHUN
Commodore
for Chief of the Naval Staff
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Alleged Illegal Oil Bunkering: Navy Hands over Vessel to EFCC

The Nigerian Navy, through the Forward Operating Base, FORMOSO, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 handed over a Vessel, MV MESSIAH 1 and Barge MIRACLE arrested for illegal oil bunkering to the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office, for further investigation and possible prosecution.

The Vessel and Barge were arrested by the Operation Delta Safe’s patrol team at the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, Brass Terminal, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on March 22, 2019.

The Naval Handing Over Officer, Captain Suleiman Dantosho Ibrahim said that both MV MESSIAH and Barge MIRACLE were each laden with 500,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil, (AGO).

Principal Detective Superintendent Shehu Jibrilla who received the Vessel and Barge on behalf of the EFCC, assured the NAVY of their diligent investigation and possible prosecution.

Tony Orilade
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity

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Alleged Illegal Oil Bunkering: EFCC Quizzes Seven Suspected Oil Thieves, Navy Hands over Three

The Nigerian Navy, through the Forward Operating Base, FORMOSO, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 handed over a Vessel, MV MESSIAH 1 and Barge MIRACLE arrested for illegal oil bunkering to the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office, for further investigation and possible prosecution.

The Vessel and Barge were arrested by the Operation Delta Safe’s patrol team at the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, Brass Terminal, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on March 22, 2019.

The Naval Handing Over Officer, Captain Suleiman Dantosho Ibrahim said that both MV MESSIAH and Barge MIRACLE were each laden with 500,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil, (AGO).

Principal Detective Superintendent Shehu Jibrilla who received the Vessel and Barge on behalf of the EFCC, assured the NAVY of their diligent investigation and possible prosecution.

Similarly, the Zonal Office has commenced investigations of seven suspected oil thieves and two Barges alleged to be involved in illegal oil bunkering.

The suspects: Goerge John; Friday Kesiye; Longlife Adam Nanadighe; Ofuegbe Lukcy; Clement Abogha, Lawrence Brownson Kinanec and Kenneth Monday and the Barges: Barge KOME XVIII (propelled by Tug LADY VIRTUE) and Barge NICHOLAS MARINE (propelled by MV AYE) were arrested by the patrol team of Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, FORMOSO, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on May 18, 2019 and handed over to the EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office on Tuesday, July 2, 2019.

According to the Naval Handing Over Officer, Captain Suleiman Dantosho Ibrahim, the two Barges were each conveying 500 metric tons of products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), without necessary authorization. Four of the suspects were on board Barge KOME XVIII and the other three suspects were on board Barge NICHOLAS MARINE when they were arrested.

Principal Detective Superintendent, Shehu Jibrilla, who received the suspects and the Barges on behalf of the EFCC, assured the NAVY of diligent investigation and possible prosecution of the suspects.

Tony Orilade
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity

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