48m stolen bar­rels of crude: A case of cross-bor­der fraud­ster try­ing to dupe Nige­ria – Ozekhome

Business Day (Nigeria) - - NEWS - MICHAEL ANI

The claim by Sa­mano SA DE CV, an oil and gas trad­ing com­pany, that some 48 mil­lion bar­rels of crude oil were stolen from Nige­ria and shipped to China in 2015 has been de­scribed as a case of in­ter­na­tional cross-bor­der fraud­sters try­ing to dupe Nige­ria by get­ting some kind of com­pen­sa­tion in the name of whis­tle-blow­ing.

Mike Ozhekome, a se­nior ad­vo­cate of Nige­ria, who ap­peared as a guest on Chan­nels TV Sun­rise Daily on Mon­day, ex­plained that the said, “The al­le­ga­tion is base­less and does not add up with his own in­ves­ti­ga­tion and anal­y­sis of the mat­ter.

“How can any­one claim that 46 mil­lion bar­rels of crude oil left the coun­try for China? Which port did it pass through? Who sold it? Who bought it? And how did it get there? Where is the ev­i­dence to sub­stan­ti­ate these claims?” he asked.

Re­call that Sa­mano SA DE CV had re­cently pe­ti­tioned the Nige­rian Na­tional Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion (NNPC) over what it termed fail­ure of the cor­po­ra­tion to pay it whis­tle-blow­ing per­cent­age. The oil and gas com­pany de­manded a whis­tle-blower com­pen­sa­tion fee of 5 per­cent, claim­ing it had in 2015 given the cor­po­ra­tion re­li­able in­for­ma­tion on mas­sive crude oil theft in­volv­ing 48 mil­lion bar­rels that it claimed was stored in sev­eral ports and ter­mi­nals in China.

In a July 23, 2020, let­ter from Lords and Tem­ple ti­tled ‘For­mal re­quest for the pay­ment of 5 per­cent whistle­blower com­pen­sa­tion for in­for­ma­tion fur­nished in re­spect of crude oil stolen from the Fed­eral Repub­lic of Nige­ria’, signed by Gboyega Oye­wole, a se­nior ad­vo­cate of Nige­ria, on be­half of Sa­mano SA DE CV, the le­gal firm said its client was ap­proached in 2015 by a group in China with the in­tent to sell the stolen crude.

In the let­ter, ad­dressed to the group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, NNPC, Mele Kyari, Lord and Tem­ple said the crude was be­lieved to have been stolen from Nige­ria and stored in var­i­ous ports and ter­mi­nals in China. How­ever, in­stead of indulging in the act of buy­ing the stolen crude, the com­pany re­ported the case to the NNPC.

But de­spite as­sur­ances to its client that in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the mat­ter would be made as well as the award of due com­pen­sa­tion to its client, the le­gal firm said, no pay­ment had been made to its client since then.

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