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Illegal Oil Operations: Navy Intercepts Vessel with 300 metric tons, Arrests 7 Smugglers in Lagos

The Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS Beecroft) said its personnel have arrested a smuggling vessel carrying 300 metric tonnes of illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO) in Lagos.

Seven members of the smuggling gang/crew operating the vessel were arrested onboard the vessel.

Giving details of the arrest in a briefing, Commander of Beecroft, Commodore Maurice Eno, said the vessel, MT Wolof, and its crew was arrested on June 30 around the Lagos Safe Anchorage Area.

He added said that the Navy has handed over the suspects and vessel to the Economic Financial and Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation and possible prosecution.

His words, “On June 30, 2017, NNS Beecroft patrol team intercepted and arrested MT Wolof around the Lagos Safe Anchorage Area (LSAA).

“At the time of the arrest, MT Wolof was loaded with about 300 metric tonnes of product suspected to be illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO) and had seven crew members on board.

“Investigation revealed that the vessel had no document to support the product it was carrying”.

The Commander said sample of the product on board the vessel was taken for laboratory test and the result indicated that the product did not meet the Department of Petroleum Resources specification.

“The result also did not meet the Standard Organization of Nigeria specification.

“In view of this, the vessel has been handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and possible prosecution”.

Reiterating that the navy in its renewed drive to curb illegalities in the maritime domain would not tolerate any fraudulent activity, Eno said, “The Nigerian Navy under the leadership of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ette-Ibas has zero-tolerance for illegalities in the Nigerian waters.

“The Navy therefore reiterates its drive to safeguard Nigeria’s maritime domain from criminal elements.

“I advise defaulters to desist from such act or face the wrath of the law and also urge citizens to give useful information with regards to persons engaged in illegal acts to the navy or other security agencies.”

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