Navy intercepts vessel with stolen oil, arrests eight in Akwa Ibom

The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area has intercepted a vessel with eight suspected oil thieves carrying 30,000 litres of crude oil.

The Commanding Officer, FOB Ibaka, Capt. Uche Aneke stated this while handing over the vessel, suspects and exhibits to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), in Ibaka on Wednesday.

Aneke said that the vessel, suspects and products suspected to be crude oil were arrested on Friday 23rd Feb., at about 3:55 p.m.

“The current global market price of 30,000 litres of crude oil is about N3 billion equivalent,” Aneke said.

According to him, the vessel was arrested by NNS Ekulu through the collaborative efforts of ExxonMobil with support from necessary intelligence and the Cameroonian Navy which intercepted the vessel while trying to locate an escape route through International waters bordering Nigeria and Cameron.

“As at the time of arrest, the vessel had a total of 8 crew members (all Nigerians). The vessel was discovered to have four Geepee tanks loaded with products suspected to be crude oil and in various compartments,” Aneke stated.

Aneke warned individuals or groups interested in planning to carry out any form of criminality within Nigerian waters or smuggling illegal consignments into or out of Nigeria, to desist forthwith.

“We are committed to detecting every criminal move around our operational area using advanced surveillance equipment and intelligence.

“Under the current leadership of Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, we will ensure that it is impossible for maritime crime to continue in the maritime and coastal areas of Akwa Ibom.

“Such criminals will be apprehended and duly prosecuted. Nigeria’s water and coastal areas are not for illegal activities,” he said.

Receiving the vessel, suspects and exhibits, the Assistant Superintendent of EFCC, Terseer Polycarp promised further interrogation and investigation into the matter, to ensure that every culprit is brought to book.

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