EFCC arrests illegal oil vessel at point of discharge


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says its operatives have arrested an oil vessel off-loading products suspected to be Automated Gas Oil (AGO) on Eagle Island in Port Harcourt, Rivers, on Thursday.

Its spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement that the arrest followed high-level intelligence and surveillance by the agency.

“Men and officers of the NNS Pathfinder, Naval Base, Port Harcourt, also offered professional support and facilitation of the operation.

“The vessel, H.W. BECHMAN, an oil tanker, with Registration Number: 4014030, was caught off-loading products into a Tank Farm housed in the premises of NEPAS Limited in the Iwofe area of Port Harcourt.

“It was the first- ever oil vessel interception made by the EFCC since its reception.” he said.

He said preliminary investigations by the commission showed that the oil vessel was loaded with products in 12 compartments.

He added that seven of the compartments had already been offloaded into the tank farm at the point of arrest, while products were still found in five other compartments.

“The products were suspected to have been sourced from the proceeds of pipeline vandalisation in the creeks of the Niger Delta.

“On sighting the EFCC operatives, operators of the vessel escaped in a speed boat but a quick response and support by men of the NNS Pathfinder ensured that the oil vessel was not moved.

“Several documents were recovered from the vessel and further investigations in the case, are ongoing,” he said.

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