Friday, 7 November 2014
Nigerian Navy Arrest Crude Oil Bunkerers, Impounds 2,000 Drums With Stolen Crude
The Nigerian Navy has arrested 31 suspected oil thieves and impounded 200 drums laden with substance suspected to be by-product of illegally refined crude oil, during its raid in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Commander of the Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Commodore Godwin Ochai, said the arrests were made during a raid, adding that another 2,000 drums used for transporting and distributing the illegal product were also impounded during the raid.
He made the disclosure while handing over the suspects to officers and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Port Harcourt, on Thursday.
Ochai, who was represented at the handing by Leiutenant-Commodore Abdullateef Mahmud, explained that troops stormed the area after it got intelligence report of activities of oil thieves, who hid under the cover of the busy Slaughter Market to carry out their illegal activities.
He said the Navy also impounded nine wooden and speed boats during the raid, adding, “Based on intelligence and timely report that suspected crude oil thieves were operating in this area; troops stormed the area in our mandate to stop attacks on the nation’s oil installations.
“On Wednesday, at about 0430 hours, we raided Slaughter area and impounded about 200 drums containing suspected by-product of illegally refined crude oil.
“We also impounded about 2, 000 empty drums used for distribution and transporting of products, and nine wooden and speed boats used for their illegal business. After the raid, we were able to arrest 31 male suspects involved in oil theft and bunkering.”
Ochai said the Navy would continue with its 24-hour surveillance of the waterways in its bid to stop oil theft, pipeline vandalism and sea piracy, urging the public to provide timely information that would lead to the arrest of those undermining Nigeria’s maritime safety and the economy.
Head of NSCDC Intelligence and Investigation Unit, Henry Nwaorie, said the corps would investigate and charge the suspects to court, if found culpable.