Oil Theft: Navy Defends Prosecution of Nabbed Vessel Crew Members
The Nigerian Navy has urged Nigerians and the international community to dismiss the false narrative of its prosecution of a oil vessel, MT HEROIC IDUN and the crew, saying its an effort to gain international sympathy.
Briefing newsmen today, in Abuja at the Naval Headquarter, after securing the arrest of the vessel with support from Equatorial Guinean Navy, Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba
noted that the vessel had violated Nigerian Maritime Environment on 7 August, and headed for Akpo Field without any form of authorisation or clearance.
Garba noted that the vessel even after being spotted by the Nigerian Navy Ship GONGOLA, attempted to escape.
He said: “The vessel was therefore, ordered to turn around and follow NNS GONGOLA to Bonny anchorage pending when she will be cleared for loading by NNPC Ltd.
“However, she bluntly declined on the claims that she had been told by her agent not to take directives from the Nigerian Navy Ship
“Thereafter, she engaged full speed southwards towards the Sao Tome and Principe maritime area in a bid to evade arrest.
“Apart from refusing lawful arrest, the Captain of the vessel made a broadcast of false piracy attack call to International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre to mislead mariners that NNS GONGOLA was a pirate vessel and possibly concoct an alibi for her desperate action.
“With the aid of the Nigerian Navy surveillance facility, the vessel was tracked and the Equatorial Guinea Amphibious Ship, CAPTAIN DAVID was therefore, vectored to intercept and arrest her at the Luba Anchorage in Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea”.
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Report By: PRNigeria.com