1. The Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base, (FOB) IGBOKODA in Ondo on Wednesday 6 December 2023 at about 10:00pm detected and arrested in the early hours of Thursday 7 December 2023 at about 3.00am, a 77-meter-long Motor Tanker (MT) VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS. The vessel had 17 crew members onboard at the time of arrest  was caught engaging in illegal siphoning of crude oil from one of the well heads at  EBESAN oil field about 7 nautical miles off the coast of Awoye riverine community in  Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State. The apprehension of the vessel was based on  credible intelligence received by the Base on the illegal activities of crude oil thieves at  the location which informed the swift deployment of FOB IGBOKODA personnel to  enforce the arrest of the vessel and her crew.
  2. Notably, as the anti-Crude Oil Theft Patrol Team of FOB IGBOKODA approached MT VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS, the 2 x boats attached to the vessel fled on sighting the naval personnel which confirmed the engagement of the vessel in illegality. Accordingly, on arrival at the scene, it was discovered that the vessel was actively involved in siphoning  crude oil from both sides of the well head. Consequently, upon further search and  interrogation, it was further discovered that the vessel had onboard 17 crew members of  Nigerian nationality. The vessel’s storage capacity is about 15,000 metric tonnes and as  at the time of arrest she had loaded about 500 Metric tonnes of crude oil.
  3. The arrest of MT VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS attests to the Nigerian Navy’s determination to curb crude oil theft and all manners of illegalities in Nigeria’s maritime domain. All criminals and their cohorts are hereby warned that the Nigerian Navy will use all legitimate means at its disposal to track and arrest perpetrators of illegalities in  Nigeria’s maritime environment. While individuals carrying out legitimate business are  advised to go about their legitimate activities, the Navy solicitsthe cooperation of patriotic  and well – meaning members of the public to promptly report any form of criminalities  especially in the coastal communities to the Nigerian Navy for necessary action.
  4. Furthermore, it is believed that Tantita Security Service (TSS) is involved in these illegalities because Awoye riverine area which is close to the place of arrest is covered by TSS. Again, it was upon the arrest of the vessel by the Nigerian Navy that TSS began to  raise false alarm, totally unfounded and indeed mischievous. Nonetheless, the Nigerian  Navy remains resolute in the pursuit of her constitutional mandate for the protection of  Nigeria’s Maritime Environment for national economic development and prosperity.
  5. You are please kindly requested to disseminate this informaSigned 



    Director of Information

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