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EFCC quizzes 14 suspected oil thieves in Port Harcourt

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has commenced investigation of 14 suspected oil thieves alongside a Motor Fishing Trawler Hawwau Tanko arrested in Bayelsa.

The EFCC Spokesman Dele Oyewale, said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

He said that the suspects and the vessel were handed over to the commission by the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB), Formoso, Brass, Bayelsa.“The suspects and vessel were arrested over alleged illegal dealing in petroleum products by the detachment of 5 BN Nigerian Army on Feb. 27.

“They were arrested around Fish Town Rivers, Southern Ijaw Bayelsa, while on board Motor Fishing Trawler  (MFT) Hawwau Tanko laden with about 10,000 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil, (AGO),” he said.

According to him, the Commanding Officer, FOB, Formoso, Navy Captain Murtala Rogo, disclosed that Motor Fishing Trawler was arrested over alleged involvement in illegal bunkering.

Oyewale quoted Rogo as saying that the Nigerian Navy would not relent in its effort towards policing, and enforcing all maritime laws to get rid of crude oil theft and other crimes in the Nigerian maritime domain.

According to him, the suspects included Kolapo Gafar, the captain of the vessel, Monday Aresonor, Rasheed Rafiu, Kubi Wowo and  Emmanuel Odey.

Others are, Kolapo Abdullahi, Sunday Obasan, Kolapo Wasiu, Ilojiole Emeka, Owoseni Ehuwa, John Olowokere, Chima Edwin,  John Akpan and Ijoade Tayo.

He said that the activity of the 14 suspected oil thieves and MFT Hawwau Tanko was an act of economic sabotage which the Nigerian Navy had sworn not to condone.

The EFCC Zonal Commander Port Harcourt Command, ACE 1, Ahmed Ghali, assured the Navy and the entire public that the suspects and the exhibits would be subjected to further investigation and possible prosecution.Ghali was represented by Assistant Superintendent of EFCC, ASE 1 Salim Sadiq, who received the suspects and the vessel on behalf of the commission.

He further commended the Navy for its collaboration with the EFCC and the good working relationship both agencies have enjoyed over the years.

“We will do everything within our powers to ensure that the activities of illegal oil bunkering are completely brought to the barest minimum and oil thieves  face the wrath of the law,” he said


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