Navy warns maritime criminals to stay off Nigerian waterways

Navy

The Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ibaka has warned maritime criminals to stay off Nigerian waterways as the Command has stepped up surveillance to ensure no criminals escape from the command area of responsibility.

The Commander, FOB Ibaka, Capt. Uche Aneke, gave the warning on Friday during the handing over of MT BORA to Blueseas Maritime Company as investigations revealed that the vessel was not culpable.

The commander stated that criminal elements in FOB IBAKA Area of Operations under the Eastern Naval Command Area of Responsibility will continue to be detected using advanced surveillance equipment and intelligence. He warned that such criminals will be arrested and duly prosecuted, emphasizing that Nigerian waters and coastal areas are not for illegal activities.

He mentioned that the vessel had earlier been declared a Vessel of Interest (VOI) in an investigation into an illegal ship-to-ship transfer with MT QUEEN HANSAL, a vessel that had been arrested for suspected crude oil theft activities.

According to the commander, the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ibaka had arrested MT BORA around Calabar Channel at Position Lat 04.818054 N, Long 008.31046 E on Jan. 27 with 32 crew members on board.

After thorough investigations by the Navy, the vessel was not found culpable, leading to its release to continue its legitimate businesses.

The vessel had earlier been declared a Vessel of Interest (VOI) in an investigation into an illegal ship-to-ship transfer with MT QUEEN HANSAL, a vessel that had been arrested for suspected crude oil theft activities.

“Following this investigation, MT BORA was not found culpable, hence the need for her release to continue her normal operations.

It is worthy to note that at the time of arrest, MT BORA had a total number of 32 crew members on board comprising Seven Filipinos and 25 Nigerians.

“We also seize the opportunity to warn any individuals or groups interested in carrying out any form of criminality in Nigeria’s waters to desist.

“Under the current leadership of Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, we will ensure that maritime crimes are impossible to continue in the maritime and coastal areas of Akwa Ibom State,” he said.

Responding on behalf of MT BORA, Mr. Jacob Udoumoh thanked the Nigerian Navy for swiftly investigating and releasing the vessel to continue her normal operations.

Udoumoh stated that the vessel would continue to go about its legitimate businesses in line with Nigerian Maritime laws.”

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