The Nigerian Navy says it has arrested 13 crew members, all Nigerian Nationals, of the Motor Tanker (MT) Harbor Spirit vessel which allegedly involved in illegal activities, particularly crude oil theft.
The Nigerian Navy had Ship Thunder had intercepted MT Harbor Spirit- a vessel of interest at about 1030 on Thursday 17 March 2022, during the conduct of Exercise Obangame Express . The vessel was arrested on suspicion of engaging in illegal activities.
The Navy, in a statement on Sunday by its spokesperson, Commodore Ayo-Vaughan , informed that the vessel was subsequently boarded by the Nigerian Navy and was discovered to be in possession of forged documents for the evacuation of fortified and auctioned product (crude oil) from MV KOME XVIII.
“Accordingly, MT Harbor Spirit and her the crew of 13 men, all Nigerians, were arrested and handed over to Forward Operating Base BONNY for further investigation and possible handover for prosecution,” the statement read.
The arrest MT Harbor Spirit came barely 2 days after the arrest of MT Queen of Peace for unauthorised possession of petroleum product without valid documents.
“It is indicative of the resolve of the Nigerian Navy to rid Nigeria’s maritime environment of all infractions and illegalities for legitimate maritime activities to strive towards the economic growth of Nigeria,” the statement added.