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Nigerian Navy Transfers Ghanaian and 15 Other Suspects for Investigation – Crude Oil Theft

Nigerian Navy Transfers Ghanaian and 15 Other Suspects for Investigation - Crude Oil Theft

The Ministry of Agriculture’s Department of Fishery in Edo State has received 15 suspects and the Merchant Fishing Vessel (MFV) Lily IV from the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta for further investigation.

The arrests took place on March 11, 2024, in Forcados, Burutu local government area of Delta State.

At the Navy base jetty in Warri, Delta State, Navy Capt. Solomon Paul, the Executive Officer of NNS Delta, represented Commodore Abba Muhsin, the Commander of NNS Delta, in handing over the vessel and suspects to Mr Iwanegbe America, the representative of the Fishery Department.

Commodore Muhsin stated that the vessel and suspects were apprehended for allegedly illegally entering the Maritime Exclusion Zone of the Forcados Oil Terminal Crude Loading Platform.

“We are here to hand over MFV Lily IV and 15 suspects comprising 14 Nigerians and one Ghanaian. On March 11, 2024, MV Kingston, a private maritime security company vessel belonging to Ocean Marine Services (OMS) contracted by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Nigeria Limited, intercepted and arrested the Merchant Fishing Vessel, Lily IV, with Nigerian Navy personnel onboard. The vessel was then taken into custody by the Forward Operating Base (FOB), Escravos, for investigation on March 13,” explained Commodore Muhsin.

He further mentioned that preliminary investigations revealed insufficient evidence to prove the vessel’s entry into the Maritime Exclusion Zone, although two crew members were not registered on the vessel’s manifest.

Commodore Muhsin warned mariners against violating maritime laws within the nation’s territorial waters, emphasizing that appropriate sanctions would be imposed on offenders. He emphasized that the Nigerian Navy is actively working to ensure the safety of Nigeria’s waters for navigation and commercial activities.

Expressing gratitude, Commodore Muhsin thanked government agencies and individuals who have supported their efforts to eliminate illegalities in the maritime domain.

Mr America, an Assistant Director from the Department of Fishery, Ministry of Agriculture, Edo, received the vessel and suspects, commending the Navy for their commendable work. He stated that the Department of Fishery would take further steps, and the suspects may face prosecution.

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Blessing Temi

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