The Nigerian Navy on Thursday said it had arrested five suspected oil thieves in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom.
The Commander, NNS Jubilee, Commodore Saidu Garba, disclosed this to newsmen while handing over the suspects to the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Garba said that men of the command, during a routine patrol in its area of operation, intercepted two canoes and arrested the suspects with 11, 250 litres of Automobile Gas Oil.
He said the arrest followed intensive patrol of the maritime environment, following intelligence information on the activities of oil thieves in the area.
Garba reiterated the determination of the command to deal decisively with crude oil thieves, sea pirates, pipeline vandals and other perpetrators of crime within its area of operation.
“The command admonishes oil thieves and other criminal elements operating within the maritime environment to refrain from such acts or face unpleasant consequences, as there will be no hiding place for criminals in the state,’’ the commander said.
He alleged that the suspects had confessed to conveying the products from Bonny in Rivers to Akwa Ibom.
Receiving the suspects, the Akwa Ibom NSCDC Commandant, Obiagelu Obiagulu, commended the Commander, officers and men of NNS Jubilee for their complementary role in fighting criminality within its maritime environment.
“Let me acknowledge the effort of the NNS Jubilee for combating crime within the coastal water of the state,’’ she said.
Obiagulu said the command had secured the conviction of 25 persons in the last five months, for various offences.
She said that the five suspects would be prosecuted after completion of investigations.