Navy seizes N420bn stolen crude oil, arrests 33 ships

Navy arrest nine suspected oil thieves, vandals in Delta

The Nigerian Navy said on Wednesday that it seized 810,725 metric tonnes of stolen crude in 2016 alone. It also seized 1,078,104 metric tonnes of illegally-refined diesel last year and destroyed 181 illegal refineries and arrested 33 vessels.

The Navy put the financial worth of the seized crude oil and diesel at N420.1billion, excluding the value of the seized vessels, boats and vehicles.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok Ekwe-Ibas, gave the figures at the National Assembly in Abuja when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Navy to defend the NN’s 2017 budget proposals.

The CNS spoke just as the Chairman of the committee, Abdussamad Dasuki, disclosed that inadequate funding of the Nigerian Navy had resulted in an annual economic loss of N3trillion by the country.

The amount is almost half of Nigeria’s 2017 budget estimates of N7.298trillion.

Giving further details of its operations in 2016, Ekwe-Ibas said 38 barges and 263 wooden boats were destroyed.

He added that 53 other boats were arrested; 784 suspects were arrested; 145 outboard engines were confiscated; and 135 speedboats arrested.

Other seizures and arrests were, “2,97 drums; 4,753 jerry cans; 27 trucks; 47 vehicles; 15 motorcycles; 139 geepee tanks; and 224 surface tanks.”

In addition, the CNS said 468 arms and 1,659 ammunition were seized.

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