85,000 barrels of Nigeria’s stolen crude shipped abroad daily

Over 85 per cent of the stolen crude from Nigeria is shipped to refineries abroad, a report by London-based Chatham House has revealed.

This figure represents about 85,000 out of the total 100,000 barrels stolen from Nigeria on daily basis.

The Chatham House disclosed that military, politicians and the foreign collaborators are behind the large scale of crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.

This came as the Joint task Force (JTF) at the weekend arrested two citizens of the UK and 10 Nigerians for oil theft in Niger Delta.

SHIPS & PORTS DAILY reported on Tuesday that the two Britons and their local partners were nabbed on charges of trying to bribe a military officer to facilitate oil theft.

Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) for the oil-producing Niger Delta region, Major-General E.J. Atewe, said two of the suspected oil thieves, both Nigerians, had gone to an officer to request clearance to move the crude oil. They reportedly admitted their plan was to hack into a pipeline and connect a hose that would siphon crude out of it onto a waiting boat, and offered him $6,5000 to provide a gunboat to protect them on the way out.

“The suspects were immediately arrested for attempting to bribe the brigade commander for economic sabotage,” Atewe said.

Meanwhile operatives of the Rivers State Police Command have arrested three suspected crude oil thieves with 55,000 litres of the substance loaded in two trucks.

The State Police Commissioner, Tunde Ogunsakin, said the suspects, who specialised in pipeline vandalisation, stole the crude oil from Shell oil installation at Elelenwon in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.

Ogusakin, who spoke with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Monday, disclosed that the three oil thieves were arrested on Akpajo Eleme Road on March 28, 2014, by the police monitoring team attached to his office.

He added that the suspects identified as Jonathan Okon (49), Bernard Kingsley (28) and Sunday Onuoha, were loading a third truck before they were apprehended by the police.

“As expected, the arrested suspects tried to evade arrest with tactics and antics, but our men who were very determined to end oil bunkering, especially in Rivers State, overpowered them and impounded their trucks,” Ogunsakin said.

He assured that the suspects would soon be charged to court, adding that a committee set up by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation will determine if the content of the trucks were crude oil.

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