NIMASA impounds vessel with 17,000 tonnes of oil over illegal bunkering

8 December 2011, Sweetcrude, LAGOS - The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has arrested and detained a vessel engaged in illegal bunkering.

Disclosing this in Lagos, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, managing director of NIMASA, said the vessel, MT BEE, had 17,000 tonnes of petroleum products onboard as at the time of detention on Wednesday in Lagos.

According to him, the vessel was carrying on operations in Nigeria’s territorial waters without any valid documentation for its cargo.

He disclosed shortly after the arrest that officers of the agency suspected foul play when the captain and crew declined to allow NIMASA officials on board to carry out routine flag state control checks.

This, the NIMASA boss said, made his men to call for reinforcement from the Maritime Guard Command and the team eventually gained access to the vessel.

According to him, when NIMASA officials boarded the vessel, it was discovered that the vessel was carrying 17,000 tonnes of different mixtures of petroleum products without any form of documentation for its cargo.

It was also discovered that the original name of the vessel was MT Beaver which was different from the current name MT BEE.

“We also discovered that the vessel had 25 crew members onboard, only one Nigerian with the other 24 being Pilipino. The vessel has been taken to a designated anchorage area for such cases with officers of the Nigerian Navy keeping watch on a 24 hourly basis. We will ensure that the crew are well taken care of as provided for under international laws,” he said

He also revealed that initial investigations have confirmed that loading was done in Nigeria and the Republic of Benin offshore at different times mainly at night by self propelled barges.

He added that the crew was unable to confirm the cargo discharge at the port. According to him, the management of the agency has also confirmed that the owners of the vessel are in Europe while the identity of the agent in Nigeria is yet to be determined.

The crew also confessed that they were under strict instructions from the owner not to intimate any government agency about the presence of the vessel on Nigerian waters.

There was a deliberate attempt by members of the crew to escape after resisting arrest when NIMASA officials had made it clear to them that their operations on Nigerian waters was illegal.

Restating his agency’s determination to rid Nigerian waters of illegal activities, the NIMASA boss appealed to ship agents, owners and all those collaborating with foreigners to carry on illegal operations in Nigeria’s waters to desist from such acts.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003405530158 Suyan

    Some how the topic of discussion has irlmfy shifted from the center piece discussion of corruption and politics to defining linkages between culture/tradition and corruption. Alas, I have no degrees or acada to drop the awesome lines that laspapi and Solomonsydelle’ have been dazing me with despite this I would say a thing or two.After I read all your entries somehow I couldn’t help thinking about back in the day when the number of wives you marry or number of children you have is a sign or show of wealth just for my personal clarification, do we define this as culture/tradition? Typically, back in the day, our folks will marry an extra wife to have one wife more than his neighbor or fellow relative at least I know this is true for my grand-father!Nigerians just always want to out do the next person. Somehow that innate competitor that was born in everyman was given to Nigerians a hundred times over. Yes I agree with Solomonsydelle, We publicly flaunt our wealth and our prowess and exalt those who have such attributes, whether good or bad.”-This life of pretence on the show of wealth is sadly what Nigerians live by up till this very moment. You are defined by where you live or how big your house is; where you work or how well paid your job title’ sounds; what kind of car you drive or how many cars you own; trips and travels you make, your connections or who you know where, and the normal stuff like clothes, shoes etc. The latest to this list, the funniest and my personal best is the type and number of cell phones you have. The competition gets so hard!Nigerians will do anything, to keep up with the jonses case point the root of corruption. Why won’t corruption flourish in a society that is built on such? The cycle continuesYes donzman’ I totally agree, corruption flourished as a result of the oil boom and from the current thread of discussion, it may have be planted in/rooted with that part of our culture to out do the next man. I’d love to expand my knowledge on the above so I’d be reading the links provided and more even nelson abbeys thesisBack to our Government and politics: I’m moving along in the lines of accountability structures.Once again I ask, Accountability: who are Nigerians accountable to? How can we show effectively that we are accountable to our people? How do we prove that we are for the people and not for our pockets? Corruption and Accountability go hand in hand.Lets discuss on this thread.