The Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Delta today has arrested a vessel(MV SKYE) laden with five hundred and twenty four metric tonnes of illegal products to Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for investigation and prosecution.
Handing over the vessel, the Commander NNS Delta, Commander ,Ibrahim Dewu said nine crew members were also arrested on board with the vessel at the Escravos bar in Southern Nigeria, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta state.
The Commander NNS Delta, Commander ,Ibrahim Dewu, addressing section of the press in Warri, Delta state.
Cdr. Dewu noted that the vessel was once arrested by the Joint Task Force(Operation Delta Safe) in 2014 and was handed over and tried by the EFCC for the similar offence.
“However, the vessel was released on bond by a Court in Port-Harcourt and Operation Delta Safe released this vessel with about 388 metric tonnes of products, crude oil on board. With the bond for DPR to sell this product and return the money into the Federal Government coffers.
“This vessel was arrested with the product on board which is 505 metric tonnes according to the Captain of the vessel in Escravos.”
Cdr. Dewu said on investigation, “We realize that this vessel had 524 metric tonnes of products on board in 7 out of the 12 compartment of the vessel.”
Cdr Dewu expressed shock that,”5 out of the 7 compartment had AGO on board.”While noting that there are alot of inconsistencies in the matter, Cdr Dewu said the vessel according to the crew were supposed to be heading to the high sea from Brass in Bayelsa State to Port-Harcourt to dispose off the product after the Court case.
“We found them off Escravos and they claim to be having machinery problem which led them to Escravos.
“Secondly,this vessel was released with about 388 metric tonnes of products only for us to find 524 metric tonnes and part of it is AGO instead of crude oil that was released. ”
He said part of the problems the Navy faces is that vessels hide under bonds to commit illegal activities. In the sea
“This vessel has been arrested this month and it will be handed over to EFCC for further investigations and possible prosecutions’’ he said