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How Tantita High-level Surveillance Led To Arrest Of Foreign Vessel In Bayelsa Oil Field



MT Harbor Spirit
The arrested oil vessel

…Mordovia Republic-registered vessel traced to Sangana Oil Field Well-head

Details have emerged how high-level surveillance by security joint taskforce of Tantita Security Services Limited, led to the arrest of a foreign vessel registered in Mordovia Republic in Sangana oil field in Brass Council area of Bayelsa State, where it was caught red-handed siphoning over 88,000 litres of crude oil from one of the well-head.

BIGPEN NIGERIA ( had reported that the vessel christened MT Harbour Spirit, with IMO No. 8226272, was intercepted in the Bayelsa waterways and currently anchored at the Tantita facility in Oporoza.

The vessel reported to had been on the security outfit surveillance for a while, was sighted to have strayed into the Nigerian territorial waters for unauthorized operations before it was finally tracked by the Tantita surveillance team in the early hours of Sunday, February 4, 2024.


Dependable sources revealed that the vessel was tactically traced to Sangana oil field in Brass Council area of Bayelsa State, where it had siphoned over 88,000 litres of crude oil from one of the well-head at the point of arrest.

Operatives of Tantita Security Services Limited who stormed the scene alongside a Military Joint Task force and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), arrested alongside the vessel 13 Nigerian crew members and local pilots led by the Captain, who identified himself as Shittu Joseph.

The vessel’s captain disclosed that they were 16 crew on board but three (3) of them jumped into the river at the point of arrest and cannot confirm their present whereabout.


Addressing newsmen while parading both the vessel and crew members at Oporoza, in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government area of Delta state, Executive Director, Technical and Operations, Tantita Security outfit, Captain Warredi Enisuoh, noted that the crew members had confessed to the crime.

According to him; “What you seeing here today is a result of the strict instruction and order by the Chief of Defence Staff on how to deal with the scourge of crude oil theft which was heavily supported by the entire security forces”

Enisuoh who applauded the synergy between Tantita and other security agencies, noted that the crew members of the arrested vessel had been quite cooperative and did not protest until they were brought to the location.


“Both the vessel and the crew will be there until further investigations had been concluded by the appropriate government agencies into the case, he stated.

Speaking with newsmen, the Captain of the vessel, Shittu Joseph, disclosed that they were misled to moving into that location by the vessel owners who had arranged with the locals on how to siphon crude from Sangana Kingdom i Bayelsa.

He noted that they were about to disengage themselves from the vessel to another boat so they would not be involved in the crime but however ran out of luck as it was about that time that Tantita operatives and the Civil Defence swooped on them.


The captain pleaded for clemency as they were family men looking for a means of livelihood to feed their families.

The head of the Police Special Task Force On Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering, CSP Sini Umar John, noted that investigations had since commenced into the case and further information would be made public through the office of the Force Public Relations.

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