Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Jubilee, has seized a vessel allegedly used for oil bunkering and arrested five suspects in Akwa Ibom State.
Commander of NNS Jubilee, Commodore Majid Ibrahim, said this during the handing over of the vessel and suspects to officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Ikot Abasi on Tuesday.
Speaking with journalists, Ibrahim maintained that the vessel was seized during anti-illegal oil patrol by the Nigerian Navy along Uta-Ewa Creek on May 18.
He added, “In line with the Chief of Naval Staff’s strategic directive and the need to secure Nigeria’s maritime domain against all forms of illegalities.
“The Nigerian Navy Ship Jubilee on anti-illegal oil patrol, arrested MT PREYOR 1 on May 18, 2020 along Uta-Ewa Creek for suspected illegal oil bunkering activities.
“The vessel was laden with an unspecified quantity of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO).
“As required by the Harmonized Standard Operating Procedure, the suspects, vessel and products are hereby handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation and possible prosecution.”
According to him, the command will not relent in its fight against maritime crimes and criminalities.
He warned anyone involved in criminal activities within the coastal waters to look for legitimate means of livelihood or relocate as the command would continue to arrest and hand them over to relevant security agencies for prosecution.
Ibrahim commended the Chief of Naval Staff for providing all the moral and logistics support required to achieve the feat.
He urged the media to sensitise the public on the need to cooperate with the security forces in the fight against all forms of criminalities.
Head, Extractive Industry, Fraud Section, EFCC, Uyo Zonal office, Mr Victor Ikang, who received the vessel, products and the five suspects on behalf of the commission, thanked the Navy for the arrest.
He assured that the commission would investigate the case thoroughly to bring all culprits to book.
He said, “I receive the vessel alongside with the suspects. We thank the Nigerian Navy for being a partner in the fight against Economic Crimes.
“We assure the Navy that we will carry out further investigation and make sure that culprits are brought to book.”