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Navy makes further oil theft arrests

15 January 2014, 08:44Augustine Osayande

Abuja - The Navy said it was making inroads in the fight against oil theft.

This follows the arrest of 21 persons aboard two vessels that have been impounded loaded with more than 2 million litres of crude oil valued at over N2.4 billion.

The arrests were made in Bayelsa State.

“The foregoing arrests underscore the determination of the Nigerian Navy and the Central Naval Command in particular, to completely eradicate oil theft, illegal bunkering and other illegality in the Nigeria waters. This further demonstrates the zero tolerance stance of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba against oil theft and related criminalities in the nation’s maritime domain,” a statement issued by the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) of the Command Rear Admiral Sidi- Ali Hassan Usman, read.

He said the two vessels, MT ELITANK 123 and unnamed one were impounded offshore around Agbami oil field and the Obi creek in Southern Ijaw local government area respectively.

He added that the suspected oil thieves were arrested for not possessing requisite documents permitting them to lift crude oil.

“They were unable to tender relevant documents such as Nigerian Port Authority bunkering permit and the NNPC nomination for crude oil lifting. And they lack the certificate of registration with the Joint Military Task (Operation Pulo Shield) nor the NHQ approval for the movement of petroleum products within the command’s area of responsibility,” Usman said.

He vowed that the Navy would sustain the tempo of surveillance on the waterways and creeks in the Niger Delta.

– CAJ News


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