EFCC quizzes 14 suspected oil thieves

Bayelsa oil thieves

The alleged oil thieves

By Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja

Operatives of have commenced investigation of 14 suspected oil thieves handed over to the anti-graft agency alongside a Motor Fishing Trawler, MFT, Hawwau Tanko by the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base, Fob, Formoso, Brass, Bayelsa State.

The EFCC operatives began investigation of the suspects on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, Dele Oyewale, spokesperson for the anti-graft agency said in a statement.

The suspects and vessel were arrested for alleged illegal dealing in petroleum products by the detachment of 5 BN Nigerian Army on February 27, 2024 around Fish Town Rivers, Southern Ijaw Bayelsa State while on board Motor Fishing Trawler (MFT) Hawwau Tanko , laden with about 10,000 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil, (AGO).

The Commanding officer, Forward Operating Base, FOB, Formoso, Navy Captain Murtala Aminu Rogo disclosed that Motor Fishing Trawler (MFT) Hawwau Tanko was arrested on February 27, 2024 around Fish Town Rivers, Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State for alleged involvement in illegal bunkering.

Speaking through Navy Commander M. A Gada, Rago said the Nigerian Navy will not relent in its effort towards policing and enforcing all maritime laws to get rid of crude oil theft, illegal oil bunkering activities and other crimes in the Nigerian maritime domain.

The suspects include: Kolapo Gafar, the captain of the vessel, Monday Aresonor, Rasheed Rafiu, Kubi . E. Wowo, Emmanuel Odey, Kolapo Abdullahi, Sunday Obasan, Kolapo Wasiu, Ilojiole Emeka, Owoseni Ehuwa, John Olowokere, Chima Edwin, John Akpan and Ijoade Tayo.

According to him, “the activity of the 14 suspected oil thieves and MFT Hawwau Tanko is an act of economic sabotage which the Nigerian Navy has sworn not to condone”.

Zonal Commander of EFCC, ACE 1, Ahmed Muhammed Ghali assured the Navy and the entire public that the suspects and the exhibits will be subjected to further investigation and possible prosecution.

Ghali disclosed this through Assistant Superintendent of the EFCC, ASE 1 Salim Abubakar Sadiq who received the suspects and the vessel on behalf of the EFCC.

He further commended the Navy for its collaboration with the EFCC and the good working relationship both agencies have enjoyed over the years.

“We will do everything within our powers to ensure that the activities of illegal oil bunkering are completely brought to the barest minimum and that the oil thieves are brought to face the wrath of the law”.

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