Home Maritime Nigerian Navy releases Norwegian Vessel, MT Heroic Idun after attempted oil theft

Nigerian Navy releases Norwegian Vessel, MT Heroic Idun after attempted oil theft

MT Heroic Idun - lagospost.ng
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The Nigerian Navy on Sunday returned a Norwegian-registered vessel, MT Heroic Idun, caught attempting to steal Nigeria’s crude oil in August 2022.

The navy impounded the oil tanker and detained its 26 Indian, Pilipino, Sri Lankan and Polish nationals in August 2022.

It later convicted them in court and they were fined a sum of $15 million, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

Mohammed Adamu, commanding officer, Forward Operating Base, Bonny, handed over MT Heroic Idun to its owner, Idun Maritime Limited, at Bonny, Rivers, after meeting the plea bargain conditions.

He said after the seizure of the merchant ship, its crew members were charged to the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt for trial in January.

“The Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), MT Heroic Idun and its 26 foreign crew were arrested after entering Nigeria’s waters unauthorised with intent to lift crude oil.

“Subsequently, they were charged to court and later pleaded guilty as well as elected voluntarily to enter into a plea bargain agreement with Nigeria,” he said.

Mr Adamu said after the conviction and sentencing by the court, MT Heroic Idun and its owners were mandated to pay conviction fines and restitution.

“The vessel and its crew also agreed to make restitution to the federal government.

“The owners also agreed to make an apology to the Federal Republic of Nigeria both in print and electronic media as well as Lloyd’s List.”

He added that the Nigerian government also agreed not to prosecute the vessel.

“The owners of the vessel later apologised to the federal government on Lloyd’s List on May 12, while the same apology was published in the Punch Newspaper on May 18.

“Subsequently, MT Heroic Idun, having fulfilled all the aforementioned conditions of the plea bargain to the satisfaction of the court, has been released to its owners, Idun Maritime Limited,” he said.

The navy officer said the vessel’s release had the consent of the Federal High Court and the approval of the government.

He said the prosecution of the seafarers demonstrated the navy’s commitment to ensure that only valid and authorised vessels were allowed into the country.

According to him, the navy will continue to ensure that only vessels that obtain permits and have security clearance can lift crude oil or gas from the country.

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