Operatives of a private firm, Tanita Security Services on Wednesday intercepted a Nigerian Navy boat escorting a vessel loaded with crude oil suspected to be stolen in Delta State.
The vessel, MT PRAISEL, was being escorted by a Nigerian Navy boat led by a commander.
The private security firm intercepted the vessel in the Koko area of the state.
Despite resistance by the Nigerian Navy boat, “Tantita operatives stood their ground with the backing of the national security adviser (NSA) and the chief of naval staff (CNS) and have taken the suspicious vessel into custody,” a source said.
The Tantita operatives were conducting a routine patrol when they spotted the vessel.
The vessel was flying a Togolese flag, but the operatives had intelligence that it was carrying stolen crude oil.
When the Tantita operatives attempted to board the vessel, they were met with resistance from the Navy boat. Cdr Musa threatened to deal decisively with the Tantita operatives, but they refused to back down.
The NSA and the CNS were eventually contacted and they gave the Tantita operatives the authorisation to take the vessel into custody.
When contacted, the Nigerian Navy spokesperson Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan said a statement on the issue would be released soon.