The Equatorial Guinea authorities have handed over the vessel MT Heroic Idun and it’s 26 foreign crew members which was involved in oil theft to Nigerian Navy for further investigations.
The Nigerian Navy factsheet released by the Director Information Naval Headquarters Commodore Adedotun Olukayode Ayo-Vaughan on Thursday said the ship had paid sizable fine to Equatorial Guinea authorities for sailing without hoisting it’s official flag.
The vessel which evaded arrest on 8 August 2022 and raised false alarm of piracy attack in Nigeria waters will be brought back to Nigeria to clear any misconceptions about its involvement in oil theft.
According to the document, the vessel entered Nigerian waters, specifically the Akpo Oilfield, deep offshore Bonny, a joint venture operated by Total Energies EP, to load crude oil at about midnight on 7th August 2022.
However, the vessel was accosted by a Nigerian Navy (NN) ship on patrol on 8th August 2022 (shortly after midnight) for not having due NNPC approval and naval clearance.
“It must be pointed out that at the time it was accosted, it had not lifted any crude oil from the oilfield, and it also subsequently did not lift any Nigerian oil. It however stands accused of breaking the laws of Nigeria in other ways,” he said.