As the investigation unfolds into the arrest of the vessel MT Kali for crude oil theft in Bayelsa State last Thursday, Captain David Adeboye, the captain of the vessel, revealed that 119 tonnes of crude oil had been illegally loaded before the vessel’s interception. Captain Adeboye, along with the vessel’s engineer, Promise Eze, were paraded before the media as part of the ongoing inquiry.
Selected journalists visited Oporoza in the Warri South West local government area of Delta State, where the vessel was anchored, for a fact-finding mission. The police, during the visit, were scrutinizing relevant documents on the vessel and profiling the crew.
The vessel was apprehended at Pennington oil field, owned by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), in Bayelsa state by a joint team comprising personnel from the private surveillance security provider Tantita Security Services Limited (TSSL), operated by former militant commander Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Captain Adeboye explained that they were initially instructed to transport Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), commonly known as diesel, from Bayelsa State to Lagos. However, upon arrival at Pennington oil field, the cargo was switched to crude oil without their knowledge. He expressed difficulty in contacting his unnamed boss due to poor network conditions in the area.
TSSL’s Executive Director, Captain Warriedi Enisuoh, who led the media tour of the impounded vessel, revealed that their company had been tracking the vessel for a long time due to its involvement in crude oil theft. Enisuoh criticized those opposing the involvement of private security providers in oil pipeline surveillance, referring to them as “oil bunkerers.” He commended the security agencies, especially NSCDC, for their collaboration and pledged continued efforts to combat crude oil theft, asserting that private security firms would support the country in securing its assets.