THE Nigerian Navy has handed over a Vessel, MV Messiah1 and Barge Miracle arrested for illegal oil bunkering to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Tony Orilade, EFCC Ag. Head, Media and Publicity, said the arrest was made by Operation Delta Safe’s patrol team, Forward Operating Base (FORMOSO) of the Nigerian Navy in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, and presented to the EFCC Zonal Office in Port Harcourt for further investigation and possible prosecution.
According to the statement, the Vessel and Barge were arrested by the team stationed at the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Brass Terminal, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on March 22.
The Naval Handing over Officer, Captain Suleiman Dantosho Ibrahim noted that both MV Messiah and Barge Miracle were each laden with 500,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil, (AGO).
Principal Detective Superintendent Shehu Jibrilla, who received the Vessel and Barge on behalf of the EFCC, assured the Navy of their diligent investigation and possible prosecution.
Similarly, the zonal office has commenced investigations of seven suspected oil thieves and two barges alleged to be involved in illegal oil bunkering.
The suspects were George John, Friday Kesiye, Longlife Adam Nanadighe, Ofuegbe Lukcy, Clement Abogha, Lawrence Brownson Kinanec and Kenneth Monday. The two other barges arrested by FORMOSO were Barge Kome XVIII (propelled by Tug Lady Virtue) and Barge Nicholas Marine (propelled by MV Aye).
According to the Naval Handing over Officer, Captain Suleiman Dantosho Ibrahim the two Barges were each conveying 500 metric tons of products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), without necessary authorization.
“Four of the suspects were on board Barge Kome XVIII and the other three suspects were on board Barge Nicholas Marine when they were arrested.”
However, Principal Detective Superintendent, Shehu Jibrilla, who received the suspects and the Barges on behalf of the EFCC, assured the Navy of diligent investigation and possible prosecution of the suspects.