Abuja – The Nigerian Navy on Friday handed over three suspected oil thieves and four tug boats to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Port-Harcourt, Rivers.
Spokesman of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
He said the move was part of collaboration between the Navy and the EFCC to rid the country’s waterways of illegal oil bunkering.
He named the suspects as Damiete Kemuel, Francis Egbedi and Dum Nwineedam, and the vessels as MV Kessy1, MV Thames, MV Lolo14 and MV Lolo 20.
According to him, the suspects were intercepted by officials of NNS Pathfinder at Abuloma following intelligence.
“The vessels were said to have been loaded with an estimated 40 metric tonnes each of suspected illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO).
“The suspects will be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is completed,” he said.
This development is coming a month after the commission arrested an oil vessel off-loading products suspected to be diesel on Eagle Island also in Port Harcourt.
Uwujaren had said that the arrest of that vessel, the first by the EFCC since its inception, followed high-level intelligence and surveillance by the agency.
“Men and officers of the NNS Pathfinder, Naval Base, Port Harcourt, also offered professional support and facilitation of the operation.
“The vessel, H.W. BECHMAN, an oil tanker, with Registration Number: 4014030, was caught off-loading products into a Tank Farm housed in the premises of NEPAS Limited in the Iwofe area of Port Harcourt,” he had said.