Navy Arrests MT Harbor Spirit As A Result Of Exercise Obangame Express
The Nigerian Navy Ship Thunder has intercepted Motor Tanker (MT) Harbor Spirit (a Vessel of Interest) at about 1030 on Thursday, March 17, 2022, on suspicion of engaging in illegal activities.
According to a press release on Sunday, March 20th, 2022, signed by Commodore Ayo Vaughan on behalf of the Chief of the Naval Staff, he said that the vessel was subsequently boarded by the Nigerian Navy and discovered to be in possession of forged documents for the evacuation of fortified and auctioned product (crude oil) from MV KOME XVIII.
According to Commodore Ayo Vaughan, MT Harbor Spirit and its crew of 13 men, all Nigerians, were arrested and handed over to Forward Operating Base Bonny for further investigation and possible handover for prosecution.
The arrest of MT Harbor Spirit came barely 2 days after the arrest of MT Queen of Peace for unauthorized possession of petroleum products without valid documents. It is indicative of the resolve of the Nigerian Navy to rid Nigeria’s maritime environment of all infractions and illegalities for legitimate maritime activities to strive towards the economic growth of Nigeria.
Recall that Exercise Obangame Express 2022 was conducted from March 11–18, 2022. On Day 7 of the Exercise, the Motor Tanker (MT) Harbor Spirit was boarded.