Two Nigerian oil vessels suspected to be engaging in illegal oil bunkering around Kpone on Ghanaian waters have been detained by the Ghana Navy at the Tema harbour.
The vessels, MT Mammy Mary and Matrix 1, were intercepted on Friday based on intelligence gathered on their alleged illegal activities, Chief staff officer at the Navy Headquarters, Commodore Issah Yakubu told the media on Saturday.
The two Nigerian registered vessels have been engaging in what industry players refer to as ‘ship-to-ship transfer’ of oil.
“Before these activities take place, certain protocol has to be followed, but we suspected that the necessary procedures had not been followed, we pursued them and one ship has been arrested and the other on its way,” he explained in the morning.
At least 11 persons, all Nigerians have been arrested and are currently assisting the Ghanaian authorities in their investigations.
The arrest was made possible by the collaborative efforts of the navy, the National Petroleum Authority and Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority, Commodore Issah Yakubu noted.
“We want to get the message out there that the stakeholders are cooperating and we know what is happening out there and we will get all the criminals,” he said.
The Acting Chief Executive of the NPA, Hassan Tampuli, said investigations has already started to ascertain whether the vessels have the required license to operate on Ghanaian waters.
The first vessel that was arrested is said to contain about 320 metric tonnes of fuel, which is yet to be ascertained by the NPA.
Mr. Tampuli said the petroleum type would also be investigated if it meets Ghanaian specifications.
“This is the clearest indication of our resolve not to allow the criminals an inch, if they have learned how to fly without perching, we have learned how to shoot without missing,” he asserted.
Source: 3news.com | Ghana