On 28 October 2019. The MT Zeebrugge, a 90 metre long tanker left Tanger, Sweden and sailed for Nigeria as a ghost vessel by switching off its automatic identification system (AIS), making the movement of the vessel undetectable. This was done in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Should be easy with Nigeria right?
The Nigerian Navy Falcon Eye detected and arrested the vessel MT Zeebrugge on 12 December 2019, despite its AIS was switched off.
January 2020. The ghost vessel with MMSI 355161000 left Ajapa Marginal Oil Field indicating that its next destination is Ghana. The Nigerian Navy’s Falcon Eye alignment with its unique Over the Horizon Radar intercepted the ship along the Gulf of Guinea, 84 nautical miles south of Lagos and discovered stolen crude oil and 7 Sri Lankans onboard. Stealing of crude has a negative impact on the Nigerian economy and is being addressed seriousness.
Now..why is any of this significant? It shows how sophisticated Nigeria’s maritime domain awareness architecture is. It’s by far the most advanced in Africa.
When vessels switch off their AIS you know they are about to carry out illegal activities. Most times they succeed because you cannot track what you can’t see. But Nigeria’s Falcon Eye time and again detected the suspicious target and arrested the vessel loaded with crude oil. Kudos to Nigerian Navy’s efforts in protecting the Nigeria maritime and its critical infrastructures from the criminals.
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Falcon Eye has ruined what was once a multi-million dollar maritime criminal enterprise. These cartels have for years been stealing crude oil in connivance with some heartless local and international collaborators.
Falcon Eye Maritime Domain Awareness system vectors two warships to intercept a motor Cargo Vessel, Chayanee Naree loaded with 32.9 kilograms of cocaine hidden in 39 slabs and smuggled into Nigeria.
The Falcon Eye Maritime Domain Awareness system ran a check off the vessel and discovered that it departed Santos Brazil on 19 Sep 21 and drifted for a week at a position about 250nm off the coast of Benin from 1 to 8 Oct before arriving Nigeria on 8 Oct 21.
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Upon entering Nigerian waters, the vessel was intercepted by Nigerian Navy Ship Ekulu and NNS Karaduwa and escorted to NPA port where she was directed to berth on 9 Oct 21 and taken custody by the Navy.
Since the introduction of Falcon Eye surveillance many vessels involved in illegal business has been arrested. Nigeria’s Maritime is no longer a safe destination for illegal activities because Falcon Eye is watching.