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A vessel, ‘MV Cecilia’ arrested with about 350,000 litres of stolen Automated Gas Oil also known as diesel in Woji, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, has been set ablaze by the Nigerian Navy.

Recall that the vessel was seized by personnel of the Nigerian Navy Ship, Pathfinder, Port Harcourt on Wednesday, August 16, 2023, while three suspects were arrested.

The Commander, Operation Delta Safe, Real Admiral Olusegun Ferrera, represented by the maritime component commander of the Joint Taskforce for Operation Delta Safe, South-South, Navy Commodore Adedokun Siyanbade, had conducted newsmen around the arrested vessel.

Ferrera, said the vessel which has not been put in use for two years was used as a storage tank for illegally refined products.

He said as part of efforts to actualise the mandate of the Operation Delta Safe, the Commander JTF, South-South of OPDS directed the NNS Pathfinder based on credible intelligence to conduct a covert operation in the area, which led to the arrest.

He stated, “The vessel has the capacity all together including the fuel and water capacity of about 350,000 litres.


“The water tanks have been converted as a storage tank for these illegal products and the vessel has not been to sea for the past two years.”

But on Wednesday afternoon, personnel of the NNS Pathfinder acting ‘under extant regulations’ pushed the vessel far into the deep waters, rained diesel and petrol on it, before setting fire to the arrested vessel.


Our correspondent who witnessed the scene reports that two Naval gunboats manned with personnel escorted the impounded vessel, while a tug boat pushed it for over two hours into a safe location where it was positioned.

The stationary vessel gradually convulsed into flames with thick black smoke billowing into the sky.



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