The Nigerian Navy on Sunday said it discovered a metal Barge MV JOSH 1 and a wooden boat drifting along Bolo Creek in Rivers State and recovered them on January 29.
Navy spokesman, Commodore Suleman Dahun, announced this in a statement in Abuja.
Dan said: “The barge and wooden boat were laden with an estimated 900,000 litres of a substance suspected to be stolen crude oil and 2,500 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO (Automotive Gas Oil).
“There were no suspects onboard the vessels at the time of the recovery.
“In accordance with Part 6 Paragraph 17 of the Harmonised Standard Operating Procedures on Arrest, Detention and Prosecution (HSOP-AD&P) of Vessels and Persons, the Navy would apply the appropriate action.
“Owners of the vessels are to note that in the event of failure to reclaim seized and detained vessels for a period of 12 months, the Agency in Custody of the seized items as the case maybe, shall reserve the power to obtain an order of forfeiture and disposal from a court of competent jurisdiction.
“Accordingly, the public is hereby notified that the Nigerian Navy will keep the barge and wooden boat in its custody for a period of 6 months effective from the day of recovery.
“At the expiration of the 6 months period, it will hand over the vessels to the EFCC to obtain forfeiture order in accordance with the law in the absence of any claim of its ownership.
“Consequently, owners of the vessels are advised to come forward and reclaim the vessel, failing which it will be handed over to the EFCC to obtain forfeiture order.”