The authority of the Nigerian Navy has debunked involvement in oil theft, it has revealed that the outcome of its investigation indicated that the intercepted vessel carried high-pour fuel oil (HPFO) not stolen crude oil.
Operatives of a private firm, Tanita Security Services, controlled by ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo, claimed to have intercepted a Nigerian Navy boat escorting a vessel, MT PRAISEL, loaded with stolen crude oil on Wednesday after receiving intelligence.
In reaction to the allegations on Friday, authorities maintained that MT Praisel was approved by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to load 1,114,721 Litres of High Pour Fuel Oil (HPFO) from Greenmac Energy Storage/Tarus Jetty Koko from July 26 to August 8, 2023.
After conducting further forensic on the nature of the product, the Director of Information, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Adedotun Ayo Vaughan, in a statement on Sunday, said the results of the laboratory analysis conducted by all agencies including NMDPRA confirm that the product displayed properties consistent with Nigerian industrial standard specification for HPFO, not crude oil.
According to him, the result proves that the allegation was totally wrong, unfounded, and perhaps mischievous.
“The intelligence report which TSSL claimed to have received in respect of the vessel and its product is equally wrong. This singular incident brings to the fore the high-handedness and unprofessional conduct of TSSL with its attendant negative consequences for the supplier and buyer of the product.
“It also has negative consequences for the vessel hired to convey the product and other parties involved in the legitimate business,” he asserted.
He further reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Navy to support efforts to halt economic saboteurs and fight against crude oil theft within the ambit of the law and with the best professional conduct.
He stressed that proper precaution must be adhered to by all stakeholders to avoid unnecessary impediments to legitimate commercial activities and businesses in the maritime environment, noting that maritime security issues entail more than spontaneous actions.
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