The Nigerian Navy has arrested five suspected oil thieves and seized a vessel loaded with an unspecified quantity of illegally refined automated gas oil in Akwa Ibom State.
The Commander of NN Ship Jubilee, Commodore Majid Ibrahim, stated this on Tuesday, during the handing over of the vessel and suspects to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the state.
Ibrahim said, “In line with the Chief of Naval Staff’s strategic directive and the need to secure Nigeria’s maritime domain against all forms of illegalities, the Nigerian Navy Ship Jubilee on anti-illegal oil patrol arrested MT PREYOR 1 on May 18, 2020 along Uta-Ewa Creek for suspected illegal oil bunkering activities.
“The vessel was laden with an unspecified quantity of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil.
“As required by the Harmonized Standard Operating Procedure, the suspects, vessel and products are hereby handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for further investigation and possible prosecution.”
He warned persons involved in criminal activities within the coastal waters to look for legitimate means of livelihood or relocate as the command would continue to arrest them for prosecution.
The Head, Extractive Industry, Fraud Section, EFCC Uyo Zonal Office, Victor Ikang, who received the vessel and the suspects on behalf of the commission, assured that the anti-graft agency would investigate the case thoroughly and bring all culprits to book.