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National

Navy Clarifies Arrest Of MT PRAISEL For Oil Theft

todayAugust 4, 2023 13

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The Nigerian Navy has again reiterated its commitment in the fight against illegalities and criminality in Nigeria’s Maritime Environment particularly oil theft.

This is contained in a statement singed by the Naval Director of Information, Commodore Ayo Vaughan in Abuja.

According to the statement, the Nigerian Navy under the leadership of Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla remains poised to ensure transparency and renewed effort towards inter- agency cooperation to rid the maritime sector of all criminality.

The statement notes that the Navy was aware of publications and news reports in the media on the arrest of Motor Tanker (MT) PRAISEL by a private security outfit, Tantita Security Service Limited (TSSL) for suspected illegal oil Bunkering and allegations that the vessel was escorted by a Nigerian Navy (NN) boat and it averred that TSSL’s operation had the backing of the National Security Adviser and Chief of Naval Staff.

It further explains that the publications were misrepresentation of facts to unsuspecting members of the public as portrayed, noting that MT PRAISEL was duly approved by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to
load 1,114,721 Litres of High Pour Fuel Oil (HPFO) from Greenmac Energy Storage/Tarus Jetty Koko from 26 July – 8 August 2023.

The statement stresses that In line with Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and to ensure strict compliance with the NMDPRA approval, NN personnel were deployed onboard to monitor the discharge of the product by MT PRAISEL at a facility at Bonny.

Accordingly, following the allegations by TSSL, the NN directed the vessel to Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS anchorage, for further investigation of the product onboard and samples of the product onboard MT PRAISEL were collected on Thursday 3 August 2023
by 5 agencies including NNPCL, NMDPRA and also TSSL in line with laid procedures for laboratory test and verification of the claim.

The Nigerian Navy adds that as the lead agency in the fight against maritime crimes, it has always been at the vanguard of supporting every single effort to halt economic saboteurs of the country.

The Navy also appeals that while it is desirable for all hands to be on deck in the fight against crude oil theft, necessary precaution must be adhered to by all stakeholders to avoid unnecessary impediment to legitimate commercial activities and businesses in the maritime environment.

NN therefore calls on the general public to await the laboratory test result of the product and in-depth investigations on the allegation.

PR/Aisha Adesanya EDITED BY GRACE NAMIJI

Written by: Kevin Nwabueze

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