The Ghana Maritime Authority has allegedly detained a vessel on 14 April over suspicions of an illegal bunkering operation within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Ghanaian territorial waters, says the CEO of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).
The Marshall Islands-flagged River Oak is a 13,131 DWT chemical tanker owned by OakTree Capital Management and operated by Alliance Tanker Management, according to a shipping database.
The ship was delivering marine fuel to the MT Asian Champion and the MT Atlantic Dreamer at a location about 65 nautical miles offshore in the Ghanaian EEZ on April 14 when approached by the Ghana Navy, reports local media Graphic Online.
Its crew was unable to produce necessary registration documents for operating in the EEZ, leading to the detention of the ship; the vessel was carrying 65 metric tonnes (mt) of marine gas oil (MGO) and 2,209 mt of fuel oil.
Investigations are still ongoing and it was too early to determine if River Oak was operating illegally within the EEZ, says Alhassan Tampuli, CEO of NPA.
“It is still being kept under investigations, pending the Ghana Maritime Authority’s confirmation of its registration documents and other requirements for the ship operating in the EEZ,” he told the paper.
Published: 23 April, 2018
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