Navy arrests 7 for escorting oil vessel in Rivers

The Nigerian Navy on Friday said it arrested seven alleged impostors parading themselves as security personnel in Port Harcourt.

Cdr. Murtala Rogo, Base Operations Officer, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, said this when handing over the suspects to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Onne, Rivers state.

Rogo said the suspects, who were onboard a ‘rogue vessel’, MV Workhorse, were intercepted while escorting an oil tanker, MV Osamewe to an undisclosed location without permit.

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“In line with the Nigerian Navy policing role on the maritime domain, on Sept. 6, we got tip-off of a vessel carrying out illegal escort duty for an oil tanker. Based on this intelligence, we deployed NNS Pathfinder patrol gunboats to Bonny Anchorage to make the arrest. On reaching there, our patrol elements arrested seven crew members onboard MV Workhorse for providing illegal armed escort to an oil tanker, MV Osamewe. The suspects could not provide the appropriate permit to operate as a private maritime logistic support security vessel at the time of arrest,” he said.

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The Navy and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) are the two leading security agencies with mandate to police the nation’s waters. Rogo said it was a crime to carry out oil and gas activities within the nation’s maritime environment without approval from the Navy and relevant government agencies.

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