LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – The Nigerian Navy have arrested eight oil thieves in a wooden boat with over 300 drums and pumping machines with which they planned to store stolen crude oil.
Punch reports that the suspects arrested onboard the boat are identified as; Selafei Tito, Seba Hunton, Etieni Abibu, Ahousansou Lawlent, Oke Job, Abel Yede, Matiye Husa, and Husa Hungha.
A statement by the Base Information Officer, Nigerian Navy Ship Beecroft, Sub-Lieutenant Happiness Collins, disclosed that the suspects and boat were arrested during a patrol conducted by personnel of the Nigerian Navy Ship Beecroft.
The statement read: “In a swift and proactive response to stall activities of economic saboteurs, NNS BEECROFT patrol team vectored by the state-of-the-art Maritime Domain Awareness Facility, the Falcone Eye Alignment, intercepted a large wooden boat on 25 October 2023 at about 0230 within Lagos anchorage.
“This wooden boat laden with 8 crew, over 300 drums, pumping machines and other equipment was prevented from getting to its destination to perpetrate illegal bunkering, which could have robbed the nation of huge quantity of products for consumption by Nigerians.
“The timely interception by the patrol team is also commendable, as it prevented disaster associated with illegal handling of these inflatable petroleum products by unscrupulous elements.”
She noted that the proactive response by the patrol team further revealed the Nigerian Navy’s unwavering commitment under the leadership of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral EI Ogalla, towards safeguarding vital resources as well as effective safety and property, particularly within the maritime domain.
According to Collins, the Commander NNS BEECROFT, Commodore KO Oguntuga, represented by his deputy, Captain Christian Akokohas, has handed over the suspects to the NSCDC for investigation and prosecution.
“The arrested persons would be properly interrogated to expose their motives and identities of likely sponsors in the course of the investigation before prosecution,” the statement added.