In a significant development exposing illicit maritime activities, a vessel laden with oil, lacking essential documentation and approvals, was apprehended on the creeks of the Delta by the Nigerian Navy Ship Delta. The vessel, TUG MV STEPH I, was formally handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday for detailed investigation and further action.
Commander Chindo Yahaya, represented by Navy Commander Samuel Musa, handed over the arrested vessel to EFCC officials led by Assistant Commander II, Gomina Francis. The vessel, detained on July 6, 2023, at KFT Yard Edjeba, Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, was caught discharging a product suspected to be AGO into rubber tanks without necessary documentation and approvals.
Simultaneously, a barge named SIMI, carrying approximately 120,000 liters of a product suspected to be AGO, was also handed over to the EFCC on Tuesday. NNS Delta operatives arrested the barge on July 6 at Workson Jetty, Edjeba, revealing a lack of necessary documentation and approvals.
The Navy disclosed that preliminary investigations indicated the product in the barge was an accumulation of remnants onboard from various vessels. Both vessels are now subject to detailed investigation by the EFCC.
Emphasizing their commitment to eradicating illegal activities, the Navy declared that these incidents should serve as warnings to those contemplating similar actions to desist from such activities. The move underscores a broader effort to maintain transparency and adherence to regulatory procedures within maritime operations in the region.