A suspected crude oil vessel has been intercepted in Koko area of Delta State by the Tanita Security Services, a private security company owned by Government Ekpemupolo, popularly called Tompolo.
The 1117 tons vessel carrying about 8,100 barrels of crude, was being escorted by some naval officers before being intercepted on Wednesday, August 2.
According to the private security company owned by the ex-Niger Delta agitator who recently got a contract from the Federal Government to protect oil pipelines, the vessel tagged MT Praisel, was flying a Togolese flag and was being escorted by a Navy boat led by a senior naval commander.
Tanita operatives said they were met with resistance from the navy boat escorting the vessel and that the naval commander threatened to deal decisively with them. But the private operatives said they refused to back down.
They eventually contacted the National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu and the Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla who authorised them to inspect the vessel.
Upon entrance into the ship, the security company said they noticed that the vessel was authorised to carry products by the navy but did not have any approvals from Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), the authority responsible for the regulation of the midstream and downstream petroleum operations in Nigeria, for this said voyage.
The incident comes on the heels of the outcry by the Federal Government that the illegal trade of stolen crude oil inflicts significant economic losses on Nigeria to the tune of N2.3 trillion in 12 months.