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Navy seizes 1,300 tonnes of suspected stolen crude oil in Rivers

10 October 2013, 21:01

Port Harcourt - The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, said on Thursday it impounded a vessel laden with 1,300 tonnes of crude oil suspected to be stolen off Bonny island in Rivers.

Capt. Daupreye Matthew, the Commanding Officer, Forward Operating base, Bonny, told newsmen in Port Harcourt  that eight suspects were arrested during the raid.

He said that preliminary investigation revealed that the vessel had no valid document from relevant agencies to operate in the petroleum industry.

“Particularly worrying is the source of the product because the vessel did not have a Bill of Laden which indicates the crude oil was not gotten from relevant agencies.

“The eight suspects will be handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for further investigation and possible prosecution.

“In line with the vision and mission of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, I hereby re-emphasise our zero tolerance and resolve to curb oil theft from the region.

“The Navy will not stop until it rid the region of criminality and illegalities in the Nigerian maritime domain,” he said.

Matthew said that the fight against oil theft was the responsibility of Nigerians, irrespective of their class, to ensure economic growth and prosperity of the country.

He also urged the people to continue to provide the Navy with timely information that would lead to the arrest of oil thieves and pipeline vandals.

According to him, criminals should desist from illegality and seek legitimate jobs because the Navy will not condone acts that are capable of sabotaging the nation’s economic growth.

The acting Commandant of NSCDC in Rivers, Christiana Abiakam, said the command would carry out thorough investigation to unravel the source of the product.

She said if found guilty, the suspect would be arraigned to serve as deterrent to others.



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