Yenagoa - The Central Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy on Sunday transferred 12 suspected oil thieves to the EFCC in Yenogoa in Bayelsa State, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN gathered that the suspects were apprehended for their alleged involvement in the theft of 10,000 litres of locally refined diesel, off the waterway of the Egweama community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The suspects comprised of 11 Nigerians and one Cameroonian.
The Cameroonian was identified by the Navy as the Captain of the seized vessel used by the suspects to convey the stolen product.
The vessel, registered as MV Sea Giant, had a ship log, the Nigeria Port Authority bunkering permit and Certificate of Registration with the Joint Military Task Force.
Commodore Emmanuel Enemor, Operations Officer, Central Naval Command, presented the crew of the seized vessel to the representative of the EFCC, Deputy Detective Superintendent (DDS) Ogbu Michael.
Enemor said that the suspects claimed that the petroleum products on the vessel was for running machinery on board, adding that the laboratory test on the sample showed that the product was illegally refined Automotive Gasoline Oil (AGO).
According to Enemor, the Nigerian Navy Patrol Team from the Naval base arrested the vessel off the Brass River entrance on May 16 at Egweama Community in Brass Local Government area of Bayelsa state.
“The MV Sea Giant operates under the business name and licence of MOEN Marine Limited located in Victoria Island in Lagos.”
“During interrogation, the captain confessed that the vessel came from Lagos to load AGO from a Barge at Agbara offshore.”
Enemor assured the public that the Navy was committed to stamping out criminality in the country's maritime environment.
“Besides the Territorial waters, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the High Sea, other water bodies that are of serious concern to us in the fight against criminality in the command are the Brass River, Nun River, St.Nicholas River and Santa Barbara River,” he said.