The Nigerian Navy has handed over 25 suspected oil thieves to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the anti-graft agency said in a statement on Wednesday.
EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement on Wednesday that the suspects handed to the commission along with two vessels “are being quizzed for their alleged involvement in illegal oil bunkering.”
According to Mr Uwujaren, 12 of the suspects were arrested on board MV Johanna II on 14 July, 2021 around IMA Oil Terminal, Bonny Island.
The remaining 13 suspects, said EFCC, were arrested on board MT Bright Hope on 10 September, 2021 offshore Bonny Island.
Naval Handing Over Officer, R. T. Oladejo, a captain, was quoted as saying the suspects and vessels were arrested by the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Gondola in an anti- bunkering operation.
He said MT Bright Hope was loaded with 1,371,256 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and 62,431 litres of suspected illegally- refined Automotive Gas Oil(AGO).
MT Johanna, on the other hand, was loaded with 394,00 litres of product suspected to be AGO, Mr Oladejo said.
The suspects are: Kenneth Ekpo and Moses Baron: captains of the two vessels. Others are: Lucky Onome; Edmund Asari Joseph; Asuquo Okon; Itoro Effiong; Sunday Obonla; Melcm Agobiam; Imoh Timothy; Godfriend Bartheolomew, Promise Emmanuel and Patrick Oliseneku.
The rest are: Matthew Osoro; Unyime Ekanem; Eddy Apeli; Gift Elenei; Benimo Paebi; Eddy Uhomanbhi; Ahmmed Onikosi; Ebibotei Mesihach; Victor Abedingo; Isaac Awa, Innocent Tymon, Obi David and Jude Ogbejele.