Navy Saves Tanker From The Clutches Of Nigerian Pirates

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The Nigerian Navy said on Monday that it had averted the hijack and attack on `Hanze Kochi’, a marine tanker, and destroyed more illegal refineries.

A statement signed by the Director of Information, Commodore Christian Ezekobe, in Abuja, said that operatives of the Nigerian Navy successfully repelled the attack by suspected sea robbers on the marine tanker enroute Lagos from Port Harcourt.

“The attackers made spirited efforts to board the vessel 50 nautical miles off Bayelsa on Sept. 16, at about 0250 hrs but were heavily engaged and overpowered in a gun duel by naval personnel,” Ezekobe said in the statement.

Meanwhile, a patrol team deployed by FOB Bonny in Rivers had arrested Marine Vessel (MV) FB PERE IPAMO at Shell Slot Jetty in Bonny for alleged involvement in illegal bunkering activities.

“At the time of the arrest, on Sept. 14, the vessel was carrying about 500 tonnes of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO).

“Similarly, on September 17, a patrol team deployed by NNS DELTA conducted anti-crude oil theft operations in which two illegal refinery sites were raided,” he said.

He explained that the sites were located at Lakpaje and Ubeje Creeks in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta.

“During the raid, the patrol team destroyed about 18,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and 15,000 litres of suspected refined AGO.

“The feat achieved by the Nigerian Navy in cracking down on the activities of the criminals in the maritime domain is a pointer that there is no hiding place for any criminal,” the director said.

He reiterated the commitment of the service to safeguarding the nation’s maritime environment.

Vessel tracking reveals that Hanze Kochi is sailing under the flag of Gibraltar, with its last spotted position indicated as Lagos.

PIX: Tanker and The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas