May 31, 2023

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Owners of MT Heroic Idun apologises to FG, Nigerian Navy

Owners of MT Heroic Idun apologises to FG, Nigerian Navy

Owners of MT Heroic Idun, arrested and prosecuted for criminal offences bordering on crude oil theft in the nation’s waters have tendered an apology to the Nigerian government over the conduct of the vessel and her crew.

Owners of the vessel issued the apology letter on Lloyd’s List on Friday May 12, 2023.

The public apology is one of the conditions given by the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt for the release of the vessel and its crew that were arrested in August 2022 after a failed attempt to lift crude oil from Nigerian waters without clearance, and raising the false alarm that it was being pursued by pirates.

It is not clear if the vessel owners have met other conditions as set by the court including the payment of N5million penalty for the charge and $15million as restitution to the country as at the time of filing this report.

The apology letter reads, “The owners, on behalf of their vessel and crew, wish to publicly apologise to the Federal Government of Nigeria for that report and express their sincere regret for the difficulties presented to the navy and any embarrassment that may have resulted from this incident.  At no time did the owners wish to undermine the reputation of the Nigerian navy or the efforts undertaken by the Nigerian Navy in countering piracy and oil theft in Nigerian waters.


“Following issuance of the court order on May 9, 2023, the owners are pleased that this unfortunate incident has now been resolved and are grateful for the Nigerian authorities’ assistance in reaching this conclusion.

“We look forward to being able to repatriate our crew back to their families and to successful future trading activities within Nigeria.”

Recall that the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo had insisted that the vessel and its crew would not be released until the penalties and restitution were paid.

Vice Admiral Gambo said: “It is to be noted that the vessel and crew will not be released until the penalty and restitution are paid as well as public apologies made in the print and electronic media in Nigeria and Llyod’s list.

“The successful arraignment and conviction of Motor Tanker HEROIC IDUN and her crew arrested last August, sentenced after a plea bargain to pay N5 million as penalty for the charge and $15 million as restitution to the country, is a resilient indication that the Nigerian Navy, as the nation’s maritime sentinel, will stop at nothing to ensure the domain is safer for sustainable development of the nation’s blue economy.”

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