Port Harcourt - The Commander of the NNS Pathfinder, Commodore Duja Effedu, on Thursday said the command arrested a suspected six-man oil bunkering syndicate behind the various pipeline ruptures in Rivers.
Effedua, who made this know, when he presented the suspects to newsmen, said they were arrested during a routine patrol of the Nkpodiagha Creek, Aker Base, Port Harcourt.
He said that items recovered from the suspects include a 33 000-litre capacity tanker with registration number Lagos GGE 934 XS suspected to have been used in transporting crude oil.
The commander said the NNS had also seized two pumping machines, a long hose and two large wooden boats containing petroleum products suspected to be Automated Gasoline Oil.
He said the wooden boats were destroyed at the scene of the crime, adding that the suspects would be handed over to the police for further investigation and possible prosecution.
“The Nigerian Navy is committed and will continue in its zero tolerance policy in riding the Niger Delta of oil thieves, pipeline vandals and other criminal activities in our waterways.”
“Our operations have been boosted with the vision and support of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Dele Ezeoba, to eliminate sea piracy and illegal oil bunkering,” he said.
Effedua said that through concerted efforts with other security outfits, the spate of pipeline vandalism and illegal bunkering had reduced drastically in the state.