General News of 2014-01-20

National Security in oil seizure row

A controversial cargo vessel carrying oil (over 3000 metric tonnes) which landed on the shores of Ghana and whose ownership is in dispute and being determined by a Competent Court of jurisdiction has been hit by another scandal - The oil is being stolen.
The New Crusading Guide reports that it has gathered information which indicates that the oil which was on board the ship, MT MUSTARD, was evacuated in an emergency under the instructions of the National Security coordinator-Larry Gbevlo Lartey.
Gbevlo Lartey raised a red flag when he realized that the vessel, which was under the custody of the Ghana Navy, was in danger of sinking if the cargo that was on board was not immediately jettisoned or evacuated. An order of evacuation was thus given by the National Security Coordinator that the oil be taken into safe storage. Despite this order, the New Crusading Guide has learnt that the cargo, which was evacuated into the underground tanker of Glasbrown Ltd, is being gradually siphoned and sold on the Ghanaian market in the face of the recent oil shortage experienced in the country.
The fight over the ownership of the oil is between Kare& Kare Ltd, Alhaji Omar Sulemana, MD of Omaroil Agency Ltd and Totsa Total Geneva. The vessel, which was sitting on the high seas of Ghana, was on the verge of sinking because of the heavy load it had on board and so some of the load needed to be jettisoned in order to prevent the vessel from sinking.
The National Security before giving the evacuation order took stock of the quantity of oil and notified the chief of Naval Staff, the Eastern Naval Command and the Tema High Court before which the case is pending.
Glasbrown was appointed as the company that had the prerequisite skill and equipments to dislodge the cargo and prevent it from sinking and were instructed by Larry Gbevlo Lartey to liaise with the Commander of the Eastern Naval Command of the Ghana Navy in Tema to help evacuate the cargo from the vessel; MT MUSTARD.
Reliable sources told the New Crusading Guide that last week; numerous tankers came to load the controversial oil and carried it off to undisclosed locations. “I do not know where the oil has been sent to but I can tell you that what was loaded was the controversial oil and nothing else’’ said Samuel Mensah, an inside source. When asked whether the people who came to load the oil included National Security Officials, he said “No, they were not National Security Officials and that is what is surprising about it because when the oil was initially brought, there were some National Security Officials, but this time there was none. Once the case is still pending in Court, I found it surprising that those tankers would come and load the oil to an undisclosed location’’.
Our source also said he hopes that after stealing the oil, “they don’t come back and mix it with dirty oil to deceive the general public. In this industry, it is possible for people to go to filling stations, collect dirty oil from cars and make you believe that is the one they took from the vessel.”
When the New Crusading Guide phoned officials of Glasbrown to ask them whether they were aware that the oil had been taken from their storage, they cut the line a number of times. We decided to send a text message, to which a response came. “About what story, if I may ask.” When we responded that it had to do with the stolen oil, no response came. Attempts to reach all the disputing owners of the oil i.e. Kare&Kare, Omaroil and Total as to whether any of them was involved in the carrying away of the oil did not yield any result as at press time.
Meanwhile, a source at the National Security has told the paper that the quantity of oil which was kept in the storage was properly recorded and that any persons who make any attempt to reduce it will face the full rigours of the law. “We called for the evacuation of the oil because we wanted peace between the parties, therefore if we find out that the oil has reduced in anyway, we will take the necessary action to deal with whoever made that happen. Ghana is not a lawless country’’ he said.