Private Security Contractor, Government Security Agencies, NNPC Destroy A Stolen Crude Oil Barge

Tantita Security Services, the private security contractor hired by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd, intercepted a barge and a truck carrying stolen crude oil in two separate operations.

Tantita Security Services’ Maritime Intelligence Unit (PSC) was tipped off on the activities of a suspected vessel on December 22, 2022, in the first of two recent high-profile discoveries.

According to a press release by NNPC Limited, the security outfit mobilized and raided the location where they discovered an unpropelled barge.

The unpropelled barge was alternately loading Crude Oil and illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) in a tight creek area from an illegal storage facility within the vicinity of Agge, a short distance from the Right of Way of the Trans Ramos Pipeline (TRP).

Upon investigation, the barge “BRIGHTON-1” was discovered to be unregistered and undocumented with the appropriate maritime authorities.

The statement said the Barge was arrested alongside a large wooden canoe used in conveying illegally refined AGO and a locally built wooden Tug powered by Caterpillar Fiat 850 Engine.

According to the statement, four suspects have also been arrested on board the vessels.

The suspects are the Marine Engineer coordinating the BRIGHTON-1 loading and discharge operations, the skipper of the wooden Tugboat, a Ship Chandler providing logistics and supplies to BRIGHTON-1, and a speedboat driver that was delivering supplies to the BRIGHTON-1.

In the second discovery, an unregistered truck loaded with Crude Oil was apprehended in the early hours of December 10, 2022, discharging its illegal contents into the underground storage tanks of a fuel station belonging to Blessed Corporate Oil and Gas services Ltd, located opposite Asjam Hotel Opete, Warri.

Personnel from the Nigerian Army 3rd Battalion in Warri have secured the discovery location and the truck used for the operation.

The PSC also arrested four male suspects in connection with this discovery. Also recovered were two fuel-pumping machines being used for the operation.

Investigations are in full swing, and efforts are being intensified to unravel the identity of the criminals involved in these recent discoveries.

Currently, over 68 vessels involved in crude oil theft have been arrested, while 638 illegal refineries out of 763 have been destroyed.