• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

In a significant demonstration of maritime security capability, the patrol team of Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT, led by its Commander, Commodore Kolawole Olumide Oguntuga, also the Maritime Component Commander Operation AWATSE, apprehended the Motor Tanker Vessel SAISNIL II for suspected crude oil theft.

The flagged St. Vincent & Grenadines vessel, with 11 crew members on board at the time of arrest, was intercepted after it turned off its Automatic Identification System (AIS).

Rear Admiral MB Hassan, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, highlighted the significance of AIS in monitoring vessel activities, emphasizing that turning off such systems often raises suspicions of illicit maritime activities.

Rear Admiral Hassan disclosed that the vessel, en route from Lagos to Port Harcourt for the evacuation of approximately 720,000 Liters of Crude Oil Sludge, raised suspicion due to a 48-hour manipulation of its AIS around the ABO field. Samples of the onboard product have been collected for analysis, with the results determining the subsequent course of action.

Addressing the press, Rear Admiral Hassan stressed the Nigerian Navy’s commitment to transparency and invited relevant agencies to conduct independent analyses of the vessel’s cargo. He underscored the Navy’s dedication to eradicating crude oil theft in the nation’s maritime environment for economic prosperity.

The successful operation aligns with the strategic directives of Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, Chief of the Naval Staff, and showcases the Navy’s relentless commitment to combating maritime illegalities.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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