Yenegoa - The Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, Operation Pulo Shield, on Sunday in Yenegoa announced the arrest of 10 suspected oil thieves and seizure of a crude-laden vessel.
A statement signed by Lt.-Col. Mustapha Anka, JTF’s Media Co-ordinator, said the arrest and seizure were made on November 14 at Brass Water Bar, a coastal community in Bayelsa.
The suspects were arrested near Agip’s Oil export terminal.
They were arrested while attempting to steal crude from vessels anchored at the terminal by the JTF troops.
"The arrest was made following a tip-off on a vessel christened MV SKYE, laden with substances suspected to be stolen crude oil, which was illegally siphoned from MVCERGEN - D and MT ELIMINA, earlier arrested for illegal oil bunkering.
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"However, the JTF monitoring team intercepted MV SKYE and arrested the 10 suspected oil thieves that perpetrated the illegal act,” Anka stated.
The JTF spokesman also said that the vessel MV SKYE and the suspects were currently in the custody of the JTF for preliminary investigation.
He said the suspects and vessel would thereafter be handed over to the appropriate agency for prosecution.
Anka quoted Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Atewe, Commander JTF, as saying the task force’s zero tolerance for oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism and other sundry crimes in the Niger Delta would be sustained.
The commander, however, assured that the suspects would be diligently prosecuted.