Navy Arrests Suspected Oil Thieves in Bayelsa

The Nigerian Navy, Central Naval Command, with headquarters in Bayelsa State, has arrested 13 suspected oil thieves and intercepted vessel laden with stolen crude oil.

The suspects and the illegal vessel, christened MT REDEMPTION, were apprehended at Middleton and Peddington area of Brass, Bayelsa State, off the Atlantic Ocean.

The suspects and the vessel were subsequently handed over to operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for further investigation and prosecution.

Rear Admiral Stanley Ogoigbe, Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, said the gigantic oil vessel, MT REDEMPTION, was intercepted by his men on patrol and upon interrogation, it was revealed that the vessel had no cogent reasons to be around the area in which she was found.

Ogoigbe said, “When the patrol team searched the vessel, it was discovered that some tanks including drums kept on the main deck were laden with products suspected to be crude oil approximately 100,000 litres.

“The captain of the vessel claimed that the contents of the tanks and drums were bitumen but were confirmed to be crude oil after the product was taken to Nigeria Agip Oil Company for laboratory test.

“The crew of MT REDEMPTION could neither disclose the source of the product nor present any valid documents authorising the vessel to lift crude oil.

“Preliminary investigation by operatives revealed that MT REDEMPTION was owned by one Omar Suleiman, who is the owner of Omar Oil Agency Ltd at Tema, Ghana.”

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