As part of an effort to increase Nigeria’s wealth and stabilize her oil economy, operatives of the Tantita Security Services Ltd (TSSL), the pipeline surveillance security outfit owned by the former militant’s leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a. Tompolo, has intercepted a massive vessel, MT Tura 11, laden with 150 metric tonnes of stolen crude oil at the Escravos sea in Delta State.
The 500-capacity vessel was arrested by Tantita operatives in collaboration with the military Joint Tax Force (JTF) in the early hours of Saturday, July 4th, 2023, on the high sea around the Ondo State axis of the Niger Delta creeks.
After its rearrest, the thieving vessel was redirected and anchored at Oporoza, headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Addressing newsmen at Oporoza during the inspection of the vessel late Monday, the Executive Director, Technical and Operations, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Ltd, Captain Warredi Enisuoh, said the notorious vessel had long been in the thieving business.
He disclosed that the ship was arrested with 13 crew members during the sting operation, adding that the pipeline surveillance firm had deployed both human and technical intelligence to monitor the movements of the vessel until it was finally apprehended in the high sea around Ondo State.
“A criminal ship that has terrorized Nigerian maritime economy and sovereignty for ten years called Ali Riza Bay, who later changed her name to MT Tura ll, has been brought to book.
“Ten years ago, the vessel was arrested, but somehow, it escaped; since then, the security forces have been looking for it, it was really difficult to get the vessel because when it escaped ten years ago, she changed her name from Ali Riza Bay to MT Tura ll, which was registered in Togo and since then has been stealing crude oil from Nigeria to countries like Cameroon and others,” Captain Enisuoh alleged.
According to him, “Unknown to the perpetrators, we have been monitoring the movements of the vessel until we finally apprehended her off the coast in Ondo State.
“The vessel’s original name was Ali-Riza-Bey, but it was altered to ‘MT Tura 11’ to evade the eagle eyes of security agencies.”
Captain Enisuoh, who vowed to lead TSSL to conscientiously salvage the oil economy of Nigeria in line with its mandate, commended the security agencies for their cooperation in the task to rid the maritime domain of all maritime criminal activities.
Speaking to journalists at Oporoza, the Commander JTF Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferreira, who led other security chiefs to the Oporoza where the thieving vessel is anchored, said an investigation was ongoing to unmask the perpetrators of the act.
He commended the synergy among members of the OPDS – Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, NSCDC, Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Immigration Service, EFCC, and other agencies – that led to the successful rearrest of the vessel.
The highlight of the event was handing over the thieving vessel to the troops of Operation Delta Safe, which is saddled with the mandate of ridding the Niger Delta of all criminality.