19 August 2011, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Nigerian Navy says it has arrested a vessel allegedly loaded with over 441,952 litres of stolen crude oil.
The Commanding Officer, NNS Pathfinder, Commodore Jerry Unoarumhi, said at a news conference in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, that the vessel, MT Victor 1 Lagos, was arrested on August 7 by his patrol team.
He said at the time of arrest the vessel was laden with items suspected to be stolen crude oil as it had no valid documents to confirm the source of what she was carrying.
Unoarumhi said, “Our offshore patrol team arrested the vessel while on a routine patrol of Nun River entrance for crude oil theft. The offshore patrol team sighted MT Victor 1 off Nun River entrance and suspicious of her movement, proceeded to accost her.
“However, the vessel suddenly took off on sighting the patrol team. The patrol team gave her a hot chase for about two hours before intercepting and arresting the vessel.”
He said the vessel had on board 11 persons, suspected to be Nigerians, going by their names, including the Captain, Mr. Amatari Enekeme.
Unoarumhi said the suspects had been detained at the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Brass Terminal Military Camp, for further investigation.
He urged Nigerians to always report people suspected to be involved in one illegaility or the other to the appropriate authorities.
“For those involved in illegal bunkering we will continue to make it very difficult for them to operate. We will not relent in our policing duties as we have zero tolerance for any form of illegality in our waters.”