Operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft has arrested a vessel, Motor Tanker SAISNIL II. over alleged crude oil theft.
According to a statement over the weekend,
Base Information Officer , NNS Beecroft ,
Lieutenant Hussaini Ibrahim, the St. Vincent and Grenadines flag vessel had 11 crew onboard as at the time of arrest.
“In a commendable display of Maritime security prowess the patrol team of Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT under the auspices of the Commander , Commodore Kolawole Olumide Oguntuga who also is the Maritime Component Commander Operation AWATSE , arrested a vessel, Motor Tanker SAISNIL II.”, the statement noted.
The statement further quoted the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral MB Hassan, saying that the vessel was observed to have turned off its Automatic Identification System (AIS), which was a grievous infraction within the nation’s maritime domain, adding that activities of vessel would not be determined when such systems were turned off and such occasions are when illegalities are perpetrated.
He further stated that the infraction necessitated the deployment of Nigerian Navy Ship SOKOTO, which sailed 199 nautical miles to intercept and returned the vessel to Lagos Anchorage.
According to the Flag Officer, SAISNIL II initially sailed from Lagos Anchorage on 23 November 2023 to Taraba Jetty in Port Harcourt, Rivers State to evacuate about 720,000 Liters of Crude Oil Sludge but the manipulation of it AIS around ABO Field for over 48 hours gave rise to a reasonable suspicion of illegalities.
He stated that samples of the product onboard has been taken for analysis at the appropriate laboratory and the outcome of the analysis will determine the next line of action.
He further stated that the vessel is opened to any agency that wants to get samples onboard for analysis to confirm the product onboard.
According to him, this became necessary as the Nigerian Navy remains resolute in ensuring transparency towards ensuring holistic maritime security.
“The successful detection leveraging technology and arrest of MT SAISNIL II despite the distance from the coast aligns with key priorities of the Strategic Directives of Vice Admiral EI Ogalla, Chief of the Naval Staff, emphasizing the Navy’s unweaving commitment to eradicating crude oil theft within the nations maritime environment for economic prosperity of our dear nation .”the statement added.