The Nigerian Navy has apprehended 11 Indian nationals, three Ghanaians and two Nigerians in connection with oil theft in Bayelsa State.
The 15 suspects were allegedly arrested by the operatives of the Forward Operating Base of the Central Naval Command while attempting to lift substances suspected to be crude oil from an offshore loading terminal in Brass area of the state.
The vessels to be used to carry out the illicit business were said to have come from Ghana.
Commanding Officer, FOB, Formoso, Egwema, Brass, Capt. Noel Madugu, said the suspects had no permit to lift oil.
Madugu said as of the time of intercepting the vessels and arrest of the suspects, they had yet to carry out the operation.
He said they were arrested while waiting for vessels from the creeks of Bayelsa to be used to load the products for onward movement to a yet-to-be-ascertained destination.
Madugu said, “Our operatives arrested 11 Indian nationals, three Ghanaians and two Nigerians as they were waiting for vessels from the creeks. During the time of arrest, the suspects could not provide permits authorising them to load from Agbara platform of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company’s terminal in Brass. Their vessels came from Ghana.”
The commander said the suspects would be handed over to the relevant prosecuting agency after preliminary investigation.
He reiterated that oil criminals had no hiding place in the waterways, urging those involved in the illicit activities to desist from them in their own interest.