A foreign ship with 14 Filipinos, four Ukrainians and a Russian aboard with over 6,000 metric tonnes of automotive gas oil has been seized by the Nigerian Navy for allegedly doing business on Nigerian waters illegally.
The seizure was made by the Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Navy Bonny in Rivers State, south-south Nigeria.
The commanding officer of the FOB Bonny, Hassan Dogara, told Channels Television on Monday that in the sustained fight against all forms of maritime crimes in Nigeria, the base had also made substantial arrests in the last two weeks.
Two fishing trawlers with over 5,000 items ranging from small packets to big cartons of fish were found with the suspects accused of engaging in fishing activities within five nautical miles of the coast, contravening their licenses.
When they were questioned they were unable to provide the relevant documents from the body controlling fishing activities on Nigeria’s waters.
However, the captain of one of the arrested fishing trawlers denied the allegations, insisting that their operations were not illegal.
The Nigerian government had asked the security forces monitoring its waters to end crude oil theft in the south-south region of the country. The nation recorded a drop in its crude oil sales few months ago and it was attributed to crude oil theft.