Nigeria Seizes Foreign Vessel for Alleged Theft of Shell Crude

Nigeria detained a vessel with crew members from countries including Pakistan, Indonesia and Ukraine for alleged theft of crude from a facility owned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the navy said.

The tanker, MT TECNE, was apprehended before dawn on April 25 while loading crude from the Afremo platform operated by Shell’s Nigerian unit, Ibrahim Dewu, a navy spokesman, said Wednesday by phone from the southern city of Warri. “They had siphoned about 2,000 metric tons of crude oil from the loading jacket before their arrest,” he said.

A Nigerian, three Ghanaians and a Benin national were among the crew arrested, he said.

Organized criminal gangs have for years stolen crude from pipelines and facilities in the Niger River delta, home to the country’s oil industry, either for sale to vessels waiting offshore or for local refining. Nigeria’s Petroleum Ministry estimates that sometimes as much as 10 percent of its output is lost to theft.

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