Navy arrests 40 crude oil thieves, smugglers


Nigerian Navy (NN) patrol teams have arrested 40 suspected oil thieves and smugglers.

As efforts to curtail the resurgence of criminal activities in the Nigerian maritime waters intensify, the Nigerian Navy (NN) patrol teams have arrested 40 suspected oil thieves and smugglers, including eight Camerounians, in various operations carried out to cleanse the coastlines. The NN also destroyed thousands of litres of product suspected to be crude.

Director, Naval Information, Commodore Christian Ezekobe, made this known yesterday in a statement issued in Abuja that the landmark achievement was achieved following the directive of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, that efforts be stepped up towards eliminating all forms of crimes in Nigeria’s waters through sustained clampdown on “illegal refineries, crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, smuggling, piracy and sea robbery”, by the operational commands.

The statement said 10 persons suspected to be engaged in crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism were arrested in a speedboat and two large Cotonou boats around SPDC Forcados area by NNS Delta in what it tagged “a big harvest of criminals.”

The NN also stated that the most recent raid against the criminals resulted in the destruction of illegal crude oil refineries set up in Lolomu Creek in Gbaramatu Kingdom and Tagola Creek, all in Warri South-West Local Council of Delta State.

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