Richard Ginika Izuora
The Nigerian Navy have intercepted a vessel, MT TIS IV, with 4,402 barrels of crude oil and arrested 20 persons in Akassa, Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The Commander, NNS Soroh, Commodore Patrick Effah, said all the suspects including five collaborators were Nigerians.
He said following the arrest, the vessel was found to be carrying about 700,000 litres which is about 603 metric tonnes or 4,402 barrels of illegally sourced crude oil worth about $315,500 (N148m) without the requisite approval for such cargo.
Effah said the Navy was led to a spot where about four dugout pits containing unspecified quantities of crude oil, much more than what was found on the vessel, was discovered.
He said the discovered storage pit had been reported to relevant oil and gas company for evacuation and the arrested suspects would be handed over to the relevant security agencies for prosecution.
According to him: “The arrest is one of the numerous successes recorded by the Nigerian Navy in its ongoing ‘Operation Quiet Waters’ aimed at dominating the Nigeria’s maritime environment towards creating deterrence in order to create a secure maritime environment for economic activities to strive.