The Nigerian Navy Ship Jubilee, NNS, on Tuesday said that it has seized a vessel used for oil bunkering and arrested five suspects in Akwa Ibom.
The Commander of NNS Jubilee, Commodore Majid Ibrahim, disclosed this to newsmen during the handing over of the vessel and suspects to officials of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Ikot Abasi.
Mr Ibrahim said that the vessel was seized during an anti-illegal oil patrol by the Nigerian Navy along Uta-Ewa Creek on May 18.
“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 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,” Ibrahim said.
The commander said that the command would not relent in its fight against maritime crimes and criminalities.
He warned persons involved in criminal activities within the coastal waters to look for legitimate means of livelihood or relocate as the command would continue to arrest them and hand them over to relevant security agencies for prosecution.
The commander commended the Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, 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.
Receiving the vessel, products and the five suspects on behalf of EFCC, Victor Ikang, Head Extractive Industry, Fraud Section, Uyo Zonal office thanked the Navy for the arrest.
He assured that the commission would investigate the case thoroughly to bring all culprits to book.
“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,” he said.