The Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA on Wednesday handed over a vessel with more than 386,000 litres of stolen crude and nine suspects to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The Commander, NNS DELTA, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, handed over the vessel and the suspects to the officials of the anti-graft agency at the Warri Naval Base.
Addressing newsmen after the handover, Dewu said the vessel christened MT Nipal and the Nigerian suspects were apprehended on January 31.
The commander said that they were nabbed by the navy personnel while allegedly siphoning crude oil at the Shell Petroleum Development Company Afremo field.
He said: “MT Nipal was apprehended Jan. 31, 2018. The suspects were caught while siphoning crude oil at the Shell Petroleum Development Company Afremo field.
“It had 386,000 litres of crude oil and four out of the eight tanks of the vessel bore the product.
“We have carried out our investigations. Today, we are handing over the vessels with its crew, about nine Nigerians on board, to the EFCC to carry out full investigations.”
Dewu, who said that the navy would not relent in ridding the Nigerian territorial waterways of illegalities, advised the perpetrators to seek a better and alternative means of livelihood.
He said: “I advised those who indulged in the illegal oil business to desist from carrying out these illegal activities.
“If they want to go into oil business, there are proper ways to go about it. They should stay away from illegal oil theft because it is an economic sabotage.”
Richard Ogberagha, Senior Detective Superintendent, EFCC, Benin office, who led some members of the commission, promised to fully investigate the vessel and suspects.
Ogberagha said: “EFCC will carry out preliminary investigations to determine the evidence of the involvement of the people.”