The tight security and effective collaboration of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the Ghana Navy and other Security Agencies has yielded another result after barely a week ago when five people were arrested in Kpone near Tema for engaging in fuel smuggling.
Their efforts led to the arrest of Eleven Nigerians for allegedly engaging in fuel smuggling on Ghanaian Waters on Friday (13th April, 2018) evening around 6pm, when they were allegedly offloading 320 metric tons of crude from one vessel into another vessel.
Briefing journalists on its operations in Tema on Saturday, 14th April 2018, Commodore Issah Yakubu, from the Naval Headquarters in Accra, said the suspects were spotted transferring crude from MT Mammy Mary into Matrix 1 and therefore arrested them for their illegal acts.
Explaining “Yesterday through our intelligence networks, we were able to detect an illegal activity involving Ship to Ship(STS) transfer of oil at sea and before this activity can take place certain protocols has to be followed, but we suspected that this was not followed and they are being detained.”
Adding that, the arrested suspects informed them the security personnel of their vessel has 1000 metric tons capacity but had only 320 metric tons of fuel.
Revealing that, “this is just the beginning of our investigation to know the actual quantity of fuel.”
Stating, preliminary investigations revealed that the two vessels are registered vessels in Nigeria but not clear whether the crude in question was stolen from the country’s Jubilee Oil Fields or was stolen from elsewhere and was just being transferred into another vessel in Ghana.
Meanwhile, Commodore Issah Yakubu indicated that, the two vessels will be detained until all the relevant agencies conclude their investigations and warned those who are engaging in illegal fuel smuggling to desist from the act, saying, “ all the agencies are re-strategizing to deal with such criminals.”
“We just want to send a message across that all the stakeholders are collaborating and we know what is happening out there and we will get all the criminals. A lot has happened on the Ghanaian waters and we’re re-strategizing and we will get all the criminals,” he stressed.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NPA Hassan Tampuli welcomed the arrest and indicated that, the Authority will go after all criminals engaging in illegal fuel smuggling on the Ghanaian waters.
Saying, “NPA will intensify its collaboration with other agencies to stamp out illegal fuel activities on our shores and country.”
Source: Ishmael Barfi/wisetvonline.com