15th September, 2012
The premises of Integrated Oil and Gas Limited in Apapa has been sealed up and the company’s owner, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, a former interior minister, arrested over suspicions that petrol stolen from the hijacked vessel MT Grace ended up in the company’s tanks.
Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi revealed this at a press conference addressed on his behalf by the Executive Director in charge of maritime labour services and Cabotage Barr. Obi Nwabueze.
Akpobolokemi said that the search for the stolen products and the sponsors of the hijackers led them to Integrated Oil and Gas tank farm.
Akpobolokemi said NIMASA has come to the realisation that behind the facade there are the kingpins and the big men who facilitate piracy adding the agency in collaboration with other security operatives will unravel the people behind the sale, purchase and storage of the stolen products.
“You recalled we had cause to parade some pirates here and we did say that we were going to continue to look for those who were behind these pirates because we came to the realisation that behind the facade there are the kingpins and the big men who facilitate piracy.
“So in line with our promise to the Nigerian public, we intensified our search for the big men behind the scene and we are happy to tell you today that we have been able to trace them to a company, a major company integrated oil and gas.
“The products that were stolen from the activities of piracy were conveyed and stored at integrated oil and gas. As we speak we have sealed off the company and we have arrested the top management of the company.”
The company, which was also embroiled in the recently exposed oil subsidy scam, according to its website was founded in 1998 as a spin-off from its parent company, Genesis Worldwide Shipping (GWS), the ship owning/vessel chartering arm of the corporate group, to offer an integrated, “one-stop shop to consumers in the downstream sector of the Nigerian Petroleum marketing industry.
The company describes itself as a leader in the provision of refined petroluem products, including Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), an operator of a State-of-the-Art storage facility, operators of several Gas/Petrol Station outlets, operators of a fleet of ground handling petroleum tankers as well as ocean-going tanker vessels.