The Central Naval Command (CNC) of the Nigerian Navy has arrested a cadet of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron and 24 others for allegedly stealing petroleum products at various points in the Niger Delta region.
The suspects were rounded up by the troops of the Forward Operating Base, FORMOSO, Brass Local Government Area, in Bayelsa State.
They were, however, handed over to the State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr. Desmond Agu, for prosecution.
In a brief ceremony to hand over the suspects to NSCDC on Sarurday, the Flag Officer, Commanding, CNC, Rear Admiral Sidi-Ali Usman said 12 of the suspects were arrested onboard a vessel christened, MT Eil Tank 123.
Usman, who was represented at the event by Commodore Vincent Okeke, said the MAN Oron, who was on internship, had been released.
He explained that the suspected vessel was arrested offshore Agbami oil field by the Nigerian Navy Ship ZARIA.
He added that the ship was laden with 1, 241,000 litres of stolen crude oil without “necessary clearance or permit for movement of petroleum products particularly crude oil.”
Usman said five of the suspects were apprehended onboard a large dug-out wooden boat offshore Brass River.
“At the time of the arrest, the boat was loaded with about 60,000 litres of product suspected to be crude oil. She neither had documents to show proof of purchase nor permit from relevant regulatory agencies for crude oil lifting,” he said.
He added that nine suspects were nabbed onboard another vessel which was loaded with 870,000 litres of crude oil.
He said: “This handing over re-emphasises the determination of the Chief of the Naval Staff to completely eradicate crude oil theft from the nation’s maritime domain.”
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