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March 1, 2024
You are currently viewing Economic sabotage: FG warns oil thieves, lauds security outfit over impounded vessel
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa

Economic sabotage: FG warns oil thieves, lauds security outfit over impounded vessel

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By Edeki Igafe

The Federal Government has warned crude oil thieves to desist forthwith or faced the full wrath of the law.

Gen. Christopher Musa, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), gave the warning on Monday during an on-the-spot inspection of an impounded vessel in Oporoza, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the vessel, MT KALI was apprehended on Saturday by the Tantita Security Services Limited (TSSL), in conjunction with the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

The ship allegedly laden with 199 tonnes of stolen crude oil, was arrested in Bayelsa and later moved to Oporoza for anchorage while investigation continues.

Arrested alongside the vessel were 23 suspects excluding one that jumped into the sea.

“We are here as directed by the Commander-In-Chief based on the report of the ship that was arrested,” he said.

Musa who lauded TSSL over the arrest of the vessel said that the Nigeria security forces would continue to collaborate with the private security agencies to curtail the illegality.

He commended the TSSL for the feat and assured it that they would work together as a team.

“We are here as directed by the Commander-In-Chief based on the report of the ship that was arrested.

“I think it’s a major achievement. It shows that we are committed to ensuring that we stop this criminality within the maritime environment.

“This is a collaborative effort and we will continue to collaborate with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) and the private security agencies.

“The main federal government agencies are also working together. I don’t want a situation where we will create problem between different groups.

“We are working for the same team. we are all Nigerians and this is our country. Whatever that is happening here is an act of criminality that must be stopped by all Nigerians,” he said.

The CDS said that all hands must be on deck to stop the illicit trade, adding that the “country is bleeding and needed funds to grow and develop”.

According to him, the suspects arrested alongside the vessel were the ground troop, adding that the main actors were behind.

He said that the the Chief of Defence Intelligence would investigate to know those involved, what was taken and who sent them.

“The Armed Forces, security agencies, the community’s private security agencies, as long as they are contracted by the Federal Government, we are going to work together as a team.

“There is not going to be any competition between us and please the media should stop making it look as if it is a fight, there is no fight.

“Whatever arrest has been made, is done in collaboration with other security agencies and we are going to continue to do that.

“We are happy this vessel has been arrested. We are going to take it up from here.

“Henceforth, we are going to enhance our collaboration and ensuring that we check these menace,” he said.

Musa said that individuals cannot hold the country back with their illicit acts.

He said that in spite of efforts by the government, the criminals were hell bent on stealing crude for their selfish gain.

He said that the vessel and it’s content would be treated in accordance with the standard operating procedure.

Malam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC Ltd.; Mr Bala Wunti, Managing Director, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), were among the CDS entourage. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Joseph Edeh

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