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Navy Hands 8 Suspects With N3bn Worth Of Stolen Crude To EFCC

Operatives of the Nigerian Navy’s Forward Operating Base (FOB) at Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have intercepted a vessel laden with 30,000 litres of crude oil and arrested the eight suspects, who were handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation and prosecution.

The Commanding Officer (CO) in – charge of the FOB, Ibaka, Capt. Uche Aneke, disclosed this while handing over the vessel, the suspects and other exhibits to the anti – graft agency’s officials at the Base on Wednesday.

He recalled that the vessel, suspects and the products suspected to be crude oil were seized since February 23, 2024, at about 3:55pm.

“The current global market price of 30,000 litres of crude oil is about N3 billion equivalent,” Aneke noted.

According to him, the vessel was arrested by NNS Ekulu, through the collaborative efforts of ExxonMobil that supported with necessary intelligence and the Cameroonian Navy, that also supported the interception when the vessel tried to escape by crossing International waters through Nigeria’s border with Cameroon.

“As at the time of arrest, the vessel had a total of 8 crew members (all Nigerians). The vessel was discovered to have four Geepee tanks loaded with products suspected to be crude oil and in various compartments,” Aneke stressed.

He, therefore, warned individuals or groups interested in planning to carry out any form of criminality within the Nigerian waters or smuggling illegal consignments into or out of Nigeria, to desist forthwith.

He said: “We are committed towards detecting every criminal move around our operational area using advanced surveillance equipment and intelligence.

“Under the current leadership of Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, we will ensure that, it is impossible for maritime crime to continue in the maritime and coastal areas of Akwa Ibom.

“Such Criminals will be apprehended and duly prosecuted. Nigeria’s water and coastal areas are not for illegal activities.”

Receiving the vessel, suspects and exhibits, EFCC’s Assistant Superintendent, Mr Terseer Polycarp, promised that the anti-graft agency will carry out further interrogation into the matter.

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