Navy Arrests 20 Suspected Oil Thieves, Seizes Vessel-MTT4

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The Nigerian Navy has arrested over 20 suspected crude oil thieves as well as an impounded vessel with the identification MTT4.

The officers of the Nigerian Navy, Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on December 6, 2021 intercepted the said vessel within Akassa River in Brass Local Government Area and arrested 20 crew members found in the vessel.

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The Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship Soroh, Commodore Patrick Effah, made this known while handing over the suspects and the recovered vessel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Speaking at the event which held on Saturday, Effah said the vessel as of the time of arrest was loaded with 700 liters of illegally sourced crude oil worth about N148,281,000.

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He also added that the handing over of the vessel to the anti-graft agency commission was in compliance with the naval headquarters’ directives, adding that the vessel and crew were complicit in the crime that borders on economic sabotage.

In his words, “The Nigerian Navy has been given the mandate to apprehend any ship suspected to be carrying out illegalities in the Nigerian maritime domain, however, by law, we are not allowed to carry out prosecution of offenders.

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“We are directed to handover seized vessels to the EFCC for further investigations and possible prosecution.’’

Anthony Mark, an official of the EFCC team, Port Harcourt Zonal Office, who received the vessel, reitrated the readiness of the commission to carry out thorough investigation into the matter.

“We will carry out thorough investigation with a view to determining the level of involvement, content of the vessel and prosecution of those involved,” he said.

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