Tags: Nigeria | ship.oil | stolen

Nigeria Seizes Ships With Stolen Oil

Wednesday, 05 May 2010 11:18 AM

LAGOS – Nigeria's navy said Wednesday it seized a Greek-flagged vessel carrying more than 80 tonnes of stolen crude oil and arrested its crew in a crackdown on a multi-million dollar smuggling racket.

"A special task force of the navy intercepted the Greek-flagged vessel around Escravos in Delta State on Saturday with 83 metric tonnes of crude oil," Navy Commodore David Nabaida told AFP.

He said the vessel, the Troaica, was immediately impounded with its cargo, and taken to the naval base in Warri.

"Ten suspects, including two Ghanaians and eight Nigerians, were arrested and are being quizzed after which they will be handed over to the police and the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) for prosecution," he said.

Nabaida said the stolen crude was estimated at some 100 million naira (662,470 dollars, 512,379 euros).

Nigeria is world's eighth largest producer, exporting around two million barrels of crude per day, but the industry is prey to organised gangs of heavily-armed criminals who tap pipelines and siphon off tonnes of crude.

Smugglers sell an estimated 100,000 barrels per day to unscrupulous foreign refineries, according to industry sources.

The multi-million dollar profits from the trade have fed an arms race among the pirate gangs and ethnic militias who ply the waterways of the Niger Delta.

The region has seen an upsurge in violence since January 2006 as dozens of foreigners, mostly oil workers, have been kidnapped for ransom.

Most of those captured were later released while dozens of Nigerians and a handful of foreigners have been killed by militants.

Oil accounts for more than 95 percent of Nigeria's foreign exchange earnings.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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LAGOS – Nigeria's navy said Wednesday it seized a Greek-flagged vessel carrying more than 80 tonnes of stolen crude oil and arrested its crew in a crackdown on a multi-million dollar smuggling racket.
Nigeria,ship.oil,stolen
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2010-18-05
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 11:18 AM
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