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JUST IN: Nigerian Navy intercepts ship carrying 2 million litres of stolen fuel to Benin Republic

The Nigerian Navy Ship Beecroft, on Operation Delta Sanity, today intercepted a vessel, a motor tanker SWEET MIRI, which was suspected to have been involved in crude oil theft.

The Navy said on Saturday evening that the vessel had 13 crew: one Ghanaian and 12 Nigerians.

While briefing newsmen onboard the vessel, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral MB Hassan, stated that the vessel had been a vessel of interest to the Nigerian Navy and she is being arrested on suspicion of crude oil theft.

He added that, on 25 February 2024, the vessel was observed to have switched off its Automatic Identification System to avoid detection.

According to him, the vessel was arrested 174 nautical miles off the coast of Nigeria, approximately 320 kilometres, heading to the Benin Republic.

“This necessitated the deployment of Nigerian Navy Ship ABA to investigate the vessel. Subsequently, she was found carrying products suspected to be crude oil.

“Thereafter, NNS SOKOTO was deployed to double up the search and interdict the vessel. On arrival, it was discovered that she was carrying about 2 million litres of the suspected product without approval.

The FOC further disclosed that, in line with the directive of Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral EI Ogalla, the ship is opened for other agencies to come and take samples and carry out their own independent investigations to find out the culpability of the vessel.

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