15 February 2013, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Joint Task Force, JTF, operating in the Niger Delta, Thursday, released a vessel suspected to be involved in illegal oil bunkering in compliance with a Federal High Court ruling on its detention.
The Media Officer Personnel of the force, Ft.-Lt. Chris Erondu, announced the release of the vessel in Bonny Island, Rivers State.
A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt on November 19, 2012, had ruled in favour of High Tide Marine Limited, owners of the vessel, over allegation of complicity in illegal oil bunkering activities.
Erondu said the vessel, with the registered name, AV Pecos Peters, was arrested on October 17, 2012 on suspicion of transporting petroleum products without permit.
“This vessel by name, AV Pecos Peters, was arrested along Bonny waters by personnel of the Joint Task Force operation Pulo Shield from 146 Battalion, Nigerian Army on suspicion of involvement in illegal oil bunkering.
“Consequently, the vessel and its owner were arraigned before a court of law and after thorough investigation, the owner of the vessel was not found wanting (guilty).”