Vanguard (Lagos)

9 August 2012

Nigeria: Sea Pirates Kill MD of Tompolo's Firm

A group of Niger Delta militants

Warri — SUSPECTED sea pirates have killed Captain Romeo Itima, Managing Director of Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, an oil bunkering surveillance company owned by ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.

The company was contracted by the Federal Government to provide security and monitor the nation's coastal waters against oil thieves.

It was gathered that master mariner, Itima, who was in pursuit of oil thieves in Escravos , area of Warri Pilotage District, was killed by suspected sea pirates on Tuesday.

A source told Vanguard, "The team from Global West Vessel Specialist did not know that they were sea pirates in the ship and were approaching the vessel in the course of their duty, when the pirates opened fire on them.

"Itima did not die immediately, as the company's boat was bullet proof, but the pirates shattered the windscreen of the boat, which forced them to make a detour and crashed into stone breaker. Unfortunately, there was rough tide at that time, which swept away the boat and caused his death," the source said.

The family in a statement by Captain Winifred Itima, said, "His death occurred during an operation against theft of crude oil and criminal sea robbery activities in the Warri Pilotage District."

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