The Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has announced the arrest of a fibre boat named AMOMO MARINE by its Joint Task Force Monitoring Team.
The agency said the arrest of the light vessel which was carrying nine 250 litre drums and 1650 litre cans of Automative Gas Oil (AGO) popularly called diesel on board near the NNPC pipeline at Atlas Cove Lagos, was made on Monday.
“The boat was immediately apprehended by the joint team of NIMASA officials and the Nigerian Navy and taken to the Agency’s Kirikiri jetty. The suspects and a total of nine 205 litre drums and 16 50 litre cans of AGO had also been handed over to the Marine Police at Kirikiri for further investigations,” NIMASA said in a statement yesterday.
During questioning by NIMASA officials at its Kirikiri office, the crewmembers whose names were given as Ganiyu Abbas and Jamiu Matthew said they were sent by their boss to supply rice, fish and water to an unnamed ship at sea and that they would be paid with one and a half ton of diesel.
The crew member who spoke in pidgin said “We dey house this morning wey our oga come call us say make we come go pack rice, fish and water, and small boat come carry us go to ship side. They come transfer the water, rice and fish, na him they come give us markets (diesel)”
The suspected sponsors, Mrs. Sikirat Oba and Mr. Emiko Nelson were also apprehended after they were called by the boat crew.
A joint statement by the duo revealed that they were contacted by one Mr. Seun to supply food stuff; rice, fish, and water to a vessel and they will in turn be paid with one and a half ton of AGO and that the boat was on its way back when the NIMASA Task Force apprehended it.
Meanwhile officials of the Agency have evacuated the boat to stop the continued spill of the oil with resultant negative effects on marine and aquatic life.