Saw a couple of articles talking about two vessels that were caught siphoning crude oil from a manifold that belongs to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Abonnema area of Rivers State, Nigeria.
The articles went on to explain how The Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, codenamed “Operation Pulo Shield” used two patrol boats to apprehend the two vessels MT ANE and MT OXO and arrested 22 Ghanaians and 4 Nigerians. The article in This Day Live, then went into a long description of the characteristics and movements of the MT ANE:
Built in 1986
General Cargo Ship
Dead Weight (DWT) of 5,896
Flagged in St.Vincent and Grenadines on February 1, 2010.
It further detailed its Flag History, Classification status, Port Inspections, etc., especially to point out that the ownership and management of the vessel was Croatian.
None of this is a big deal in and of itself but the part of the articles that struck me as odd, was that after apprehending the two vessels the JTF Commander acting on orders from Defence HQs, burned the vessels.
Not making sense, I decided to look into GreenLine’s risk management application iBench to determine if I could make better sense of the stories.
I found that the MT ANE is actually in the Med and has been for quite some time, operating a feeder line between Slovenia, Malta, Algeria, Italy and other Med ports in Greece, Libya, and Tunisia. Below you can see the vessels track history over the last year with the latest positions from today 17 May 2012.
Information on the MT ANE is unimpressive, it is indeed owned and operated by Croatian entities, but has very little risk associated to it. I was unable to find anything about the MT OXO in our system or on the web.
Bottom line, was the identification of the MT ANE an honest mistake taken to extremes by journalists without getting their facts straight? Or was it an intentional deceptive maneuver to divert attention from the real culprits and criminals?