Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nigeria: Ship Arrested in Ghana for Alleged Crude Oil Theft


Lagos — A Nigerian flagged vessel, M.T. Madina, has been arrested in Accra, Ghana for allegedly carrying crude oil stolen from Nigeria to a private jetty in Accra, Ghana.

The vessel which was arrested on Saturday by the Ghanaian Naval authority was said to have lifted the crude from a mother vessel in Nigeria when sailing to Ghana.

The ownership of the vessel could not be ascertained at press time, but members of the Indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, ISAN, are working round the clock to uncover the owner.

It was gathered that the ship's captain and his crew are currently being detained by the Ghanaian authority even as they commenced investigation into the matter.

When Vanguard contacted spokesperson of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka, she said she was not aware of the development but promised to get back to Vanguard immediately after her findings.

Local shipping operators have also expressed concerns over the increase in the volume of crude oil theft in Nigeria.

Reacting to the development, Captain Niyi Labinjo described the incident as unfortunate, adding that ISAN members have been warned against doing anything that might bring the group to ridicule.

He explained that it was not every ship owner in Nigeria that was a member of ISAN, stating that members of the association have been warned to ensure that they hire their vessels to only genuine people.

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