Navy Apprehends 17 Suspects for Illegally Siphoning 15 Million Liters of Crude Oil, Indicts Tompolo

Navy Apprehends 17 Suspects for Illegally Siphoning 15 Million Liters of Crude Oil, Indicts Tompolo

The Nigerian Navy, through its Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Igbokoda, Ondo State, recently captured 17 individuals aboard the 77-meter-long Motor Tanker (MT) VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS in the early hours of Thursday, December 7, 2023. This vessel, with 17 crew members on board, was caught illegally siphoning crude oil from an EBESAN oil field wellhead, situated approximately 7 nautical miles off the Awoye riverine community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.


The Navy specifically accused Tantita Security Service (TSS), owned by Government Tompolo, of involvement in this act, dismissing the TSS’s raised alarm as false.

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In a statement issued by Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, the Director of Naval Information, FOB Igbokoda had detected the vessel on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, around 10:00 pm before making the arrest.


The apprehension was based on credible intelligence received by the Base concerning crude oil theft activities in that area, prompting FOB Igbokoda personnel to enforce the arrest of the vessel and its crew. The Navy confirmed that the vessel was involved in illegal activities upon its arrival at the scene, actively siphoning crude oil.

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Meanwhile, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL) has refuted the Nigerian Navy’s allegation, denying involvement in oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta Region. The firm, contracted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to secure pipelines and curb oil theft, has forwarded video evidence of the incident between Tantita operatives and the Nigerian Navy to higher authorities.


The statement issued by the Executive Director – Operations and Technical of TSSNL, Capt. Warredi Enisuoh, termed the Navy’s accusation as libelous and false, expressing disappointment in the Navy’s allegations and asserting the existence of video evidence sent to higher authorities for clarification.

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