Navy arrests suspected oil thieves

The Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Jubilee, Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, have seized three wooden Cotonou boats with 47,000 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined Automative Gas Oil.

The commander of the ship, Commodore Saidu Garba, who said this in Ikot Abasi on Saturday, praised the Nigerian Navy for achieving the results.

According to him, over 47,000 litres of liquid suspected to be AGO; three Cotonou wooden boats; 113 drums of 250 litres of AGO and 188 empty drums of 250 litres have been recovered from the suspects in Ibeno, Ibeno Local Government Area of the state.

He said, “NNS Jubilee special boat patrol at Ibeno in Ibeno Local Government Area arrested 13 suspects and two Cotonou boats laden with 113 by 250 litres drums of products suspected to be illegally refined Automative Gas Oil.

“It is known that these unregulated refining processes cause heavy environmental degradation, health hazards and loss of revenue for the nation.

“You will recall that just few days ago a combined patrol team of NNS Jubilee and NOP Ikuru at Ataba arrested four illegal bunkering suspects and two Cotonou boats laden with 75 by 250 litres drums of illegally refined AGO. These illegal activities amount to assault to the collective interest of the nation and constitute huge economic sabotage running into several million of naira.”

Garba, who later handed over the suspects and the products to Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, warned oil thieves and other criminals within Akwa Ibom to desist from their nefarious activities and venture into productive businesses.

The state Commandant of NSCDC, Mrs. Obiageli Obiagulu, said due process would be followed in the prosecution of the suspects.

Represented by the NSCDC’s Divisional Officer in Ikot Abasi, Ojimba Abel, Mrs. Obiagulu said, “I want to commend the commander of the Nigerian Navy in Ikot Abasi for the process he has followed so far in making sure that documentations are ready.

“It is our own duty on behalf of my commander to assure you that our legal department and intelligent section will immediately effect the prosecution so that whoever that is involved in the oil bunkering will not go scot free.”

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