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Nigerian Navy Addresses Arrest Of Motor Tanker Praisel Amid Allegations Of Crude Oil Theft


Aug 4, 2023

In a recent development, the Nigerian Navy has moved swiftly to address and clarify the incident surrounding the apprehension of the Motor Tanker (MT) Praisel on allegations of crude oil theft.

The matter gained attention due to media reports and publications detailing the vessel’s arrest by the private security entity, Tantita Security Service Limited (TSSL), over suspicions of illegal oil bunkering.

The reports suggested that the vessel had been escorted by a Nigerian Navy boat and hinted at the involvement of high-ranking officials.

To set the record straight and prevent the spread of misinformation, the Nigerian Navy has provided comprehensive insights into the situation. It has been confirmed that MT Praisel had received proper approval from the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to load 1,114,721 liters of High Pour Fuel Oil (HPFO) from Greenmac Energy Storage/Tarus Jetty Koko. This approval was valid from July 26 to August 8, 2023, and has been substantiated by the NMDPRA.

In alignment with established Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and to ensure strict adherence to the NMDPRA’s authorization, Nigerian Navy personnel were stationed onboard to monitor the unloading of the product at a designated facility in Bonny.

However, on August 2, 2023, Tantita Security Service Limited (TSSL), acting on intelligence, alleged that MT Praisel was carrying stolen crude oil. Consequently, they engaged an element of Operation DELTA SAFE to board the vessel and verify the alleged stolen cargo. Responding promptly, the Nigerian Navy directed the vessel to the Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS anchorage for a comprehensive investigation of the cargo onboard.

As of August 3, 2023, samples of the product from MT Praisel have been collected by five different agencies, including NNPCL, NMDPRA, and TSSL. These samples will undergo rigorous laboratory testing and verification procedures, following established protocols.

Undoubtedly committed to combating maritime crimes, the Nigerian Navy reiterated its strong support for all efforts aimed at curbing economic sabotage within the nation.

While acknowledging the importance of collective action against crude oil theft, the Navy stressed the significance of adhering to necessary precautions by all stakeholders. It emphasized that such precautions are vital to prevent any unwarranted disruptions to legitimate commercial activities and businesses within the maritime sector, which have significant implications for the nation’s economy.

In light of this, the Nigerian Navy called on the public to await the results of the laboratory tests and to respect the ongoing in-depth investigations into the allegations.

Under the leadership of Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, the Navy is firmly committed to promoting transparency, fostering interagency cooperation, and enhancing synergy in the ongoing battle against illegalities and criminal activities within Nigeria’s maritime environment, particularly focusing on combating oil theft.

By admin

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