The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), Delta has impounded a vessel containing over 386,000 litres of crude oil, alongside nine crew members in Delta State.
Commander of the Naval Base, Warri, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, made this known on Wednesday while handing over the cargo and the vessel MT Nipal, with the nine crew members to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Speaking after handing over the suspects and the vessel to the EFFC for further investigations, Dewu disclosed that they were arrested for illegally syphoning crude oil at the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Afremo field.
The Naval boss said the arrest was made on January 31, and that four out of the eight tanks of the vessel bore the product.
He said, “MT Nipal was arrested 31 January 2018. The vessel was arrested in SPDC Afremo Field. It had 386,000 litres of crude oil.
“We first carry out investigations, thereafter we hand over to security agencies which we are doing today. We have handed over to the vessel with its crew, about nine Nigerians on board, to the EFCC to carry out full investigations.”
Dewu warned that the Nigerian Navy will not relent in its efforts against illegal operations on the waterways which he described as the NNS’ responsibility. He advised those who seek to go into crude business to do so legally.
He said, “My advice to them is that they should desist from carrying out these illegal activities. If they want to go into oil business, there are proper ways they can do that. Nothing will stop us from getting them arrested because this is our work. Stay away from illegalities.”
The EFCC, after collecting samples of the product on the vessel, promised to carry out full findings on the nine arrested men on board MT Nipal.
According to the Senior Detective Superintendent (SDS), EFCC Benin, Richard Ogberagha, who led a team of the commission to the naval base, “EFCC will carry out preliminary investigations to determine the evidence of the involvement of the people.”