Navy Sets Ablaze Vessel Containing 350,000 Litres Of Diesel Arrested In Rivers

....Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, on August 16, 2023, resulting in the arrest of three suspects.
By Tamuno Briggs, Porthacourt

The Nigerian Navy set fire to ‘MV Cecilia,’ a vessel containing approximately 350,000 liters of stolen Automated Gas Oil, commonly known as diesel, in Woji, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State. This action came after the vessel was apprehended by the personnel of Nigerian Navy Ship, Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, on August 16, 2023, resulting in the arrest of three suspects.

Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferrera, the Commander of Operation Delta Safe, represented by Navy Commodore Adedokun Siyanbade, the maritime component commander of the Joint Taskforce for Operation Delta Safe in the South-South region, led reporters on a tour of the impounded vessel.

Ferrera explained that the vessel had not been in use for two years and was being utilized as a storage tank for illegally refined products. He further noted that, as part of the Operation Delta Safe mandate, the Commander of the Joint Task Force in the South-South region directed NNS Pathfinder to conduct a covert operation in response to credible intelligence, leading to the vessel’s arrest.

He stated, “The vessel has the capacity all together including the fuel and water capacity of about 350,000 litres.

“The water tanks have been converted as a storage tank for this illegal products and the vessel has not been to sea for the past two years.”

However, on Wednesday afternoon, in accordance with existing regulations, the personnel of NNS Pathfinder carried out the deliberate sinking of the vessel in deep waters. They doused it with diesel and petrol before igniting the vessel.

Our correspondent, who was present at the scene, observed that two Naval gunboats, crewed by personnel, accompanied the impounded vessel. Simultaneously, a tugboat pushed it for more than two hours to a secure location where it was positioned.

The motionless vessel then gradually erupted into flames, emitting thick black smoke that rose into the sky.


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