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Oil Theft: Navy Hands Over Nine Foreigners to EFCC For Prosecution

From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Nigerian Navy has handed over seven Sri-Lankans and two Ghanaians, who were among the 66 suspected crude oil thieves apprehended in December 2019 by naval operatives attached to the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS, BEECROFT in Lagos to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, for prosecution.

According to a statement made available to African Examiner in Enugu by Mr . Tony Orilade , EFCC’s  Acting head, Media & Publicity, said Navy Capt. Rafiu Oladejo, Executive Officer, NNS BEECROFT, had during a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday  stated that the suspects would be charged to court before the end of next week, adding that the Navy would also hand over to the EFCC seven vessels used by the suspects to commit the crime.

He added that Oladejo, who represented Commodore Ibrahim Shettima, Commander, NNS BEECROFT, further said that the crude oil found on them was suspected to have been stolen from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, facilities in the Niger Delta region.

According to the anti-graft Agency’s Spokesman, Oladejo disclosed that  samples of products found on the seized ships had been taken by officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, for laboratory analysis.

He quoted the Naval officer as saying  “At the time of arrest, the ships were found to be carrying about 2,725.5 metric tonnes of crude oil and 746 metric tonnes of AGO and had no valid approval for the product.

“As you can recall, NNS BEECROFT arrested 12 vessels involved in illegal bunkering activities between December 2019 and January 2020.

“Consequently, officials of EFCC and DPR were invited to take samples of the products for analysis and also to investigate the people involved.

“As a follow up to these actions, the Base will be handing over seven of the arrested vessels to EFCC for prosecution.

“The vessels are: MT Tim Bgegele arrested on December 3, 2019. She was found to be carrying 381 metric tonnes of AGO without valid approval. She had a crew of 11 Nigerians onboard.

“MT Zeebrugge was arrested on December 12, 2019 laden with 838 metric tonnes of crude oil without any valid approval. She had a crew of seven Sri-Lakans on board.

“MT Jonko was arrested on December 21, 2019 laden with 450 metric tonnes of crude oil. As at the time she was arrested, she had a crew of 11 Nigerians onboard.

“MV Ekpere Amaka was arrested on December 25, 2019 with 85 metric tonnes of AGO without valid approval. She had a crew of eight Nigerians onboard.

“MV Ella was arrested on December 27, 2019 with 100 metric tonnes of AGO without valid approval. She had a crew of one Ghanaian and six Nigerians onboard.

“MT Ibim was arrested on December 27, 2019 laden with 810.5 metric tonnes of crude oil. She had a crew of 14 Nigerians onboard.”

Idris Abdullahi Abubakar, Head, Extractive Industry and Fraud Section, EIFS, led a five – man delegation of EFCC officials to the hand – over ceremony, Tony Orilade said.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=50699

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