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Navy Hands Over Vessel, 10 Suspected Oil Thieves, 7,000 barrels Of Oil To EFCC

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Nigerian Navy, Forward Operation Base (FOB) at Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state has handed over a vessel, 10 suspected oil thieves and over 7,000 barrels of oil to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the state.

The Commanding Officer, FOB, Capt. Uche Aneke stated this while handing over the vessel, suspects and 7,000 barrels of crude oil to EFCC in Ibaka on Monday

He explained that the vessel was suspected to be engaged in crude oil theft activities while her Automatic Identification System was also switched off.

“NNS Oji was vectored to intercept MT Queen Hansal on December 23 within Nigerian territorial waters by NN Falcon Eye of Eastern Regional Control Centre (ERCC).

“The intercept was around ExxonMobil oil field in Akwa Ibom, subsequently, NNS Oji boarding party boarded the vessel and effected her arrest,” Aneke said.

Aneke said that the rogue vessel was handed over to NNS Jubilee and anchored at FOB Ibaka waters on December 30, 2023.

“The vessel has 10 crew members (all Nigerians) and findings revealed her MMSI number as 657228100,” Aneke stated

“The vessel was observed to have 9 tanks (6cargo tanks, 2 service tanks and one ballast tank

According to him, these tanks were filled with petroleum products suspected to be crude oil.

Aneke warned any individual or groups interested in carrying out any form of criminality in Nigeria’s waters to desist.

“Under the current leadership of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla has vowed that it is impossible for maritime crimes to continue in the maritime and coastal areas of Akwa Ibom.

He noted that crude oil theft is an economic sabotage and perpetrators are viewed as enemies of the wellbeing of Nigeria.

Receiving, the vessel, 10 suspected oil thieves and others, the Deputy Superintendent of EFCC, Ayuba Zira said the commission would further carry out diligent investigation and prosecution “inline with their core mandate”. 

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