It was gathered that the operatives of the pipeline surveillance firm succeeded in effecting the vessel’s arrest after a weeklong monitoring of its movements.
The vessel was said to have once been arrested with its contents delivered to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) while it was also handed over to the security agencies from where it allegedly escaped miraculously.
The Executive Director, Technical and Operations of Tantita Security Services, Captain Warredi Enisuoh while addressing journalists on Monday during an inspection of the intercepted vessel, anchored at Oporoza in Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, stated that the ship was arrested with 13 crew members during a sting operation.
Captain Enisuoh disclosed that the pipeline surveillance firm had deployed both human and technical intelligence in monitoring the movements of the vessel until it was finally caught on Friday.
“Unknown to the perpetrators, we have been monitoring the movements of the vessel until we finally apprehend her off the coast in Ondo State”, he said.
According to Captain Enisuoh, “The original name of the vessel was Ali-Riza-Bey but it was altered to ‘MT Tura 11’ to evade the eagle eyes of security agencies”.
While noting that the vessel had once been arrested for the same crude theft, but disappeared in mysterious circumstances, Captain Enisuoh affirmed to newsmen saying “We are here with the same vessel committing the same atrocity”.
He then commended the security agencies for their cooperation in the task to rid the maritime domain free of criminal activities.
Consequently, the vessel was handed over to the troops of the military Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Delta Safe which has the mandate to rid Niger Delta of all criminal acts.
Speaking, the Commander, JTF Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferreira, who led other service chiefs to the scene, told newsmen that an investigation is ongoing to unravel the perpetrators of the act just as he warned criminals to steer clear of the maritime domain.
Ferreira assured that the long arms of the law will catch up with the hoodlums.