Mr Adeboye David, the captain of the impounded MT KALI vessel in Bayelsa said that the ship was on a test-run from Lagos to Bayelsa.
David stated this while fielding questions from newsmen on Sunday in Oporoza, headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South -West Local Government Area of Delta.
He said that the vessel was grounded for over a year in Lagos, adding that after it was repaired he was asked to test-run it.
“It was after we did the maintenance before I was instructed to test-run the engine to certify if it can go as far as to Bayelsa.
“After two hours we got to know that one of the engine is not working.
“The management gave us instruction to go to Bayelsa and bring Automotive Gasoline Oil (AGO) to Lagos.
”The original plan was to load AGO, at what time did it now change to crude oil is what I don’t know,” he said.
Earlier, Capt. Warriedi Enisuoh, Executive Director, Operations,
Tantita Security Serviced Limited (TSSL) told newsmen that the vessel was impounded recently with about 200,000 litres of stolen crude oil.
Enisuoh explained that the vessel had been on the watch list of the
Tantita Security Serviced Limited (TSSL), following intelligence report.
“Few weeks ago, we have been interested in MT KALi because it has been operating in Nigeria and the International waters illegally carrying crude oil and AGO.
“This time around it was unable to carryout it’s act successfully. Intelligence came to us, we processed and shared it on the need-to-know basis so that the operation will be successful.
“The ship left Lagos a couple of days ago and switched off its AIS. Then we knew it was coming to the Niger Delta.
“Further intelligence revealed that it was coming to Penitin Oil Field to load illegal crude oil in Bayelsa.
“On getting to the environment, we alerted our base at Sokebolou in Bayelsa where the operation was launched,” he said.
Enisuoh said that three persons were on top of the oil platform, adding that one was connecting the hose to discharge the content from below the seabed into the ship.
According to him, the platform was owned by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), adding that there were about 14 platforms and two oil wells in the area.
“It is difficult to detect which oil well was hot enough to discharge it’s content without the aid of a mechanical pump.
“That means there must have been an insider. It was a ship and shore connection that was able to bring the operation to a success,” he said
Enisuoh said that on arrival, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) was able to help them in overpowering the suspects.
He said that those campaigning against private security companies participation in the fight against oil theft were the “bunkerers”
He said that the private security outfit would not relent but would continued to assist the Nigeria security forces in addressing the menace.
The executive director said that about 12 crew including locals who came to aid in the operation were caught.
“The exercise would not have been successful if not for the support of the security agents line the
“The incident determines which security forces that is going to work with us,” he said.
Enisuoh identified said that the lack of backup, bearauecracy in getting permission to move with them were some of the challenges facing their operation.
He commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) for taking the bold step toward eradicating oil theft.
Enisuoh said that the measure had boosted investors confidence, reduce sooth and other environmental hazards.