Saltpond Offshore accused of shipping stolen Nigerian oil; CEO rubbishes report
The Saltpond Offshore Producing Company Limited Ghana is reported to be under investigation by authorities in Washington, US for allegedly shipping stolen oil from Nigeria but the CEO of the company has vehemently rubbished the claim.
Quincy Sintim-Aboagye is threatening legal action against persons who he said are incurably envious of his company and are bent on making false claims to tarnish the image of the company.
Nigerian online portal thisdaylive.com on Sunday August 24, had a headline: “US beams searchlight on Ghana’s saltpond platform over stolen crude.”
The story alleged the United States government had begun “investigation into crude oil shipments from Saltpond platform, a small oil facility off the coast of Ghana, due to strong suspicion that some of Nigeria’s stolen oil may be exported through the facility.”
The story also claimed the Oil offshore company which was the first to produce crude oil in commercial quantities in Ghana has been shipping large quantities of crude oil from unknown sources to Europe in recent months.
It also made reference to the Wall Street Journal on Friday in which United States officials are quoted as saying that Washington was probing Saltpond as part of the broader enquiry into how Nigeria’s crude oil is being stolen and exported by local and international syndicates.
“Some United States and Nigerian officials are said to be suspecting that Saltpond is one of several destinations that crude oil thieves use to trans-ship stolen Nigerian crude, effectively laundering it by making it appear to come from a legitimate source outside Nigeria,” the report indicated.
But speaking to Myjoyonline.com, Mr Sintim-Aboagye said the allegations are trumped up.
He said his company is not the subject of any criminal investigation and challenged critics to name which US official or institution is investigating the matter.
“No US authority has approached our company to investigate us in any way or form.
“This is a smear campaign by an unscrupulous being who are trying to destroy the reputation of the company so that our licenses would be seized,” he alleged.
When his attention was drawn to the fact that the allegation is coming from Nigeria and not from Ghana, Mr Aboagye said “it’s a collaborated effort” between local and international companies trying to tarnish his company’s reputation.
“There is a lot of falsehood being put out there in the media,” he stated.
He said since 2000 when the company revived its operation they have had to vehemently fight the “pull him down syndrome” in Ghana.
He said his company does not ship crude oil from Nigeria. What it does is to buy low pour fuel, a low quality form of oil from Nigeria which his company mixes with its high quality crude oil for export.
Those transactions he noted are above board and cannot be tainted with any illegality.
“We have become like a punching bag and it’s about time we stop. We just don’t like Ghanaians to prosper,” he claimed, warning his company has taken steps in the past and will take steps to sue people bent on destroying his company.
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