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Oil Theft: Nigerian Navy Hands Over Ghanian, 15 Other Suspects For Investigation


The Nigerian Navy Ship, (NNS), Delta has handed over 15 suspects and a Merchant Fishing Vessel (MFV), Lily IV, to the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Fishery, Edo State for investigation.

The suspects were arrested on March 11, 2024 in Forcados, Burutu local government area of Delta State.


The suspects, 14 Nigerians, one Ghanaian and the vessel were handed over to the representative of the Fishery Department, Mr Iwanegbe America on Wednesday at the Navy base jetty in Warri, Delta State.

Navy Capt. Solomon Paul, the Executive Officer of the NNS Delta, handed over the vessel and the suspects on behalf of the Commander, NNS Delta, Commodore Abba Muhsin.


Addressing newsmen, Commodore Muhsin said that the vessel with the suspects onboard was apprehended for alleged illegal entry into 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 the Ocean Marine Services (OMS) contracted by Shell Petroleum Development Company, (SPDC) Nigeria Limited, with the Nigerian Navy personnel onboard intercepted and arrested a Merchant Fishing Vessel, Lily IV. The vessel was consequently taken under custody by the Forward Operating Base (FOB), Escravos for investigation on March 13.


“Preliminary investigation revealed that there was insufficient evidence to prove that MFV Lily IV entered the Maritime Exclusion Zone of the Forcados Oil Terminal Crude Loading Platform.

“The investigation revealed that two of the crew members were not registered on the vessel’s manifest,” he said.

Commodore Muhsin warned mariners to desist from violating the maritime laws within the nation’s territorial waterways, stressing that defaulters would be sanctioned accordingly.


He said that this was one of the series of actions by the Nigerian Navy aimed at keeping Nigeria waters safe for better navigation and commercial activities.


The naval boss said that the NNS Delta remained resolute in freeing its Area of Operation from all forms of illegalities which according to him was part of the Navy’s coast guard function towards nation-building.

Commodore Muhsin, however, thanked all the government agencies and good spirited members of the society who had supported their operations to rid the maritime domain of illegalities.


Receiving the vessel and the suspects, Mr America, an Assistant Director, Department of Fishery, Ministry of Agriculture, Edo commended the Navy for the good job.


“I am receiving the vessel and the suspects from the Navy. They have done a good job. The Department of Fishery will take further steps and they may face prosecutions,” America said.

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