Nigerian Navy a disguised piracy, or what?
allAfrica online news agency published an article under the blaring headline “Nigeria: Crude Theft - Navy Intercepts 17 Vessels” (http://allafrica.com/stories/201211180354.html). A big scale Nigerian Navy operation aimed at preventing oil theft resulted in the interception of 17 vessels, all but two were released after interrogation. Greece tankers Androussa and Aegean Horizon were arrested, but not for the suspected theft. "One of the vessels we arrested is suspected of carrying excess oil over the approved quantity she is to carry while the other has incomplete papers as far as the naval headquarters is concerned. Both will be investigated," the naval chief Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba explained.
Vice Admiral’s explanation is very curious to say the least. One vessel was overloaded, said the Admiral. Usually that’s the problem for PSC to deal with, not for Navy. That’s non of Navy’s business, at least it is so in the rest of the world. Another vessel was arrested for some incomplete papers, which is as strange an explanation as the overloading, just because it is up to Customs or at least, to Coast Guard, not to the Navy. Several weeks ago Nigerian Navy arrested Russian floating arsenal which has no problems with Customs and Immigration, but after several days staying in Nigerian waters was found guilty of violating the Nigerian Navy rules, which is seems, differ from the rules of the rest of Nigeria.
For an outsider, the whole story looks like a full scale chase of foreign-flagged vessels in Nigerian waters. When nothing criminal is found, vessels are arrested for fabricated violations of some rules nobody knows anything about.
What’s the Nigerian Navy, one could ask? Is it a part of the Nigerian State, or is it something different, a State in itself, with its’ own laws and rules? If Nigerian Navy is a part of Nigeria, why then, it behaves itself in a manner resembling pirates?
Crude oil tanker Aegean Horizon IMO 9326811. Chemical tanker Androussa IMO 9101182.
Maritime Bulletin http://www.odin.tc