it has been revealed that vessels used for oil theft always put off their Automation Identification System (AIS), a radio detection device to avoid being detected by the authorities,
The Managing-Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko, who disclosed this on Tuesday during the weekly Ministerial Briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also explained this was how the vessel recently arrested with stolen crude oil in the Escravos Channel in Delta State and subsequently destroyed by the Nigerian Navy, operated, despite initial proper documentation.
He was asked why the Authority was helpless over the recent incident of an oil tanker evading arrest in Nigeria after carting away illegal crude oil.
Koko explained that such ships evade arrest because they switch off their onboard automated tracking system that displays the vessel’s position and others in the vicinity.
Koko said the Authority is now in the process of procuring Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) to enable it to identify, locate and monitor all vessels in the nation’s waters.
The NPA boss explained that the Authority has been trying to acquire the VTS for about 10 years, saying that a certified consultant has now been identified to take up the process as he hoped that it can be procured before the end of the current administration.