The Nigerian Navy said it had handed over a vessel and wooden boat with about 10,000 litres of suspected stolen diesel worth N11 million to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Nigerian Navy also handed over two crew members of the vessel to EFCC to commence further investigation and possible prosecution.
Handing over the vessel and the wooden boat to the EFCC, commander of Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, Commodore Sanusi Ibrahim, said the vessel, MT Purity, was arrested transporting the petroleum product without permit.
Ibrahim stated that Nigerian Navy troops during a routine patrol of creeks and waterways on December 2, 2015, accosted the vessel carrying diesel believed to have been illegally refined.
He said, “During investigation, we discovered that the vessel manned by two crew members had no competency to justify them serving onboard the vessel. Similarly, the vessel had no authorisation from both the navy and other relevant government agencies to move petroleum products.”
The NNS commander stated that the Navy would continue to maintain its zero tolerance on crude oil theft, illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism and piracy in the nation’s maritime environment.
Ibrahim urged the public to continue to assist the navy and other security agencies with information that would lead to arrest of oil thieves and other economic saboteurs.
Receiving the vessel and wooden boat, the head, Counter Terrorism and General Investigation of the EFCC in Rivers State, Mr David Iyang took delivery of the vessel, wooden boat and suspects.
Iyang assured that the commission would carry out thorough investigation, adding that if found guilty, the suspects would be arraigned in court.