Nay arrests vessel with 30,00 litres of smuggled crude oil

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Oron, April 4, 2024 -The Nigeria Navy has intercepted a vessel with 30,000 litres of smuggled crude oil in Ibaka, Akwa-Ibom State, while attempting to escape through Cameroon.

Its Commanding Officer, FOB Ibaka, Capt. Uche Aneke, said eight suspected oil thieves were arrested in connection with the crime.

Aneke said this while handing over the vessel, suspects and exhibits to Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in Ibaka.

He said that the vessel, suspects and products suspected to be crude oil were arrested on Feb. 23 at about 3:55p.m.

“The current global market price of 30,000 litres of crude oil is about N3 billion equivalent,” Aneke said.

According to him, the vessel was arrested by NNS Ekulu through the collaborative efforts of ExxonMobil and the Cameroonian Navy when the vessel tried to escape by crossing international waters through Nigeria’s border with Cameroon.

Aneke said at the time of arrest, the vessel had a total of 8 crew members (all Nigerians). The vessel was discovered to have four Geepee tanks loaded with products suspected to be crude oil and in various compartments.

He advised individuals or groups interested in planning to carry out any form of criminality in Nigerian waters or smuggling illegal consignments into or out of Nigeria, to desist forthwith.

“We are committed towards detecting every criminal move around our operational area using advanced surveillance equipment and intelligence.

“Under the current leadership of Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, we will ensure that, it is impossible for maritime crime to continue in the maritime and coastal areas of Akwa Ibom.

“Such Criminals will be apprehended and duly prosecuted. Nigeria’s water and coastal areas are not for illegal activities,” he said.  (GBN)

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