IGP Office Secures Forfeiture Of Vessel Arrested By Navy, Tantita Security Services, Others

The Office of the Inspector General of Police has secured the forfeiture of two multi-million Naira vessels arrested for illegal oil bunkering.

The vessels are MT Harbour Spirit and MT Kali.

The IGP’s office which secured the forfeiture order from the Federal High Court also secured the forfeiture of content of the two vessels to the Federal Government.

The IGP’s office will arraign the crew members on Friday, March 1, 2024.

A combined team of security men comprising the Navy, the Nigerian Police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and a prominent private security outfit, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL) arrested the two vessels while they were siphoning illegal crude oil in the creeks of the Niger Delta,

Two Federal High Courts, in different sittings in Abuja, ordered the forfeiture of MT Kali and MT Harbor Spirit, to the federal government.

While Justice J.K. Omotosho, granted the order on the forfeiture of the MT Harbour and Spirit and its content be forfeited to the Federal Government.

In the case filed by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Kayode Egbetokun, Justice Abdulmalik granted the motion for the interim forfeiture of MT Kali & her content to the government.

Justice Omotosho ruled that the FG should hold the MT Harbour and Spirit and its content for six months to await when anybody would show why the forfeiture should not be made permanent.

The judge also ordered the sale of the stolen crude oil contained in the impounded ocean-going vessel by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

The Justice further directed that the proceeds from the sale be deposited by NNPCL in an interest-yielding account to be determined by the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court.

A certified true copy of the order shows that the court directed that an affidavit of compliance with its order be filled before it within 72 hours after the sale of the confiscated petroleum products contained in the ship.

The MT Harbour was arrested through the concerted efforts of Tantita Security Services Limited, and the special task force set up by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admial Emmanuel Ogalla.

The MT Kali was arrested with 20 crew and accomplices from the communities while siphoning crude oil from the Pennington Oil field of the Anglo-Dutch energy giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Bayelsa State, on January 11, 2024,

The combined team of Tantita operatives and the Navy arrested the MT Harbor Spirit on February 4th, 2024 while the arrest of MT Kali was ongoing.

The MT Harbour Spirit, a Moldovian vessel was caught while stealing crude oil from Sengana oilfields in the coastal axis of Bayelsa State.

Similarly, Justice J.O Abdulmalik ruled on the case, Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/18/2024 B/W: INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE V. MT KALI & 22 ORS, in which the vessel was arraigned alongside the 2 crew members.

The cases involving the two vessels are being prosecuted by the IGP’s office with detailed information from the Head of an investigation, IGP-STPIB, Mr Omar John Sini, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), and Captain Warrendi Enisuoh, Tantita’s head of operations.

In recent times, the combined team of security forces and Tantita operatives have resulted in the arrest of several vessels involved in the theft of the nation’s crude oil resources thereby increasing daily oil production in the country.

In the past two months of this year, three of such rogue vessels have been tracked and arrested with the concerted efforts of the Armed Forces and TSSL operatives.