Navy Arrests Motor Tanker Vinnalaris 1 Lagos For Alleged Crude Oil Theft

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The Nigerian Navy has arrested a 77-meter-long Motor Tanker (MT) Vinnalaris 1 Lagos for its involvement in crude oil theft.

The navy in a statement signed by the Director of Information, Commodore AO Ayo-Vaughan, said that the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base, (FOB) Igbokoda in Ondo State on Wednesday, December 6th, 2023, at about 10:00pm detected and arrested in the early hours of Thursday December 7th, 2023 at about 3.00am the 77-meter-long Motor Tanker.

He said the vessel had 17 crew members onboard at the time of arrest and was caught engaging in illegal siphoning of crude oil from one of the well heads at EBESAN oil field about 7 nautical miles off the coast of Awoye riverine community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.

He noted that the apprehension of the vessel was based on credible intelligence received by the Base on the illegal activities of crude oil thieves at the location which informed the swift deployment of FOB IGBOKODA personnel to enforce the arrest of the vessel and her crew.

He disclosed that as the anti-Crude Oil Theft Patrol Team of FOB IGBOKODA approached MT VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS, the 2 x boats attached to the vessel fled on sighting the naval personnel which confirmed the engagement of the vessel in illegality.

The statement revealed that on arrival at the scene, it was discovered that the vessel was actively involved in siphoning crude oil from both sides of the well head.

Consequently, upon further search and interrogation, it was further discovered that the vessel had onboard 17 crew members of Nigerian nationality. The vessel’sstorage capacity is about15,000 metric tonnes and as at the time of arrest she had loaded about 500 Metric tonnes of crude oil.

According to the statement; “The arrest of MT VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS attests to the Nigerian Navy’s determination to curb crude oil theft and all manners of illegalities in Nigeria’s maritime domain. All criminals and their cohorts are hereby warned that the Nigerian Navy will use all legitimate means at its disposal to track and arrest perpetrators of illegalities in Nigeria’s maritime environment.”


“While individuals carrying out legitimate business are advised to go about their legitimate activities, the Navy solicits the cooperation of patriotic and well – meaning members of the public to promptly report any form of criminalities especially in the coastal communities to the Nigerian Nav for necessary action.”

“Furthermore, it is believed that Tantita Security Service (TSS) is involved in these illegalities because Awoye riverine area which is close to the place of arrest is covered by TSS. Again, it was upon the arrest of the vessel by the Nigerian Navy that TSS began to raise false alarm, totally unfounded and indeed mischievous.”

“Nonetheless, the Nigerian Navy remainsresolute in the pursuit of her constitutional mandate for the protection of Nigeria’s Maritime Environment for national economic development and prosperity.”



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