Oil Theft: Navy Hands Over 7 Sri-Lankans, 46 Nigerians, Others To EFCC
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Oil Theft: Navy Hands Over 7 Sri-Lankans, 46 Nigerians, Others To EFCC

Austin Papi

The Nigerian Navy has handed over to the EFCC seven Sri-Lankans, 46 Nigerians and two Ghanaians who were arrested for illegal bunkering.

According to reports, the arrested persons were crew members on seven vessels between December 3, 2019, and December 30, 2019.

Yepa KAJ, one of the captains of the vessel, which was carrying 838 metric tones of crude oil, revealed that he was in charge of the vessel, in which the Sri-Lankans sailed from Morocco to Nigeria.

The Executive Officer of the Base, Captain Rafiu Oladejo, who represented the Base Commander, Commodore Ibrahim Shetima, disclosed at the NNS Beecroft’s conference room, Apapa, Lagos, where the men were handed over to the EFCC, that 12 vessels had so far been confiscated between December 2019 and February 2020.

He explained:

“The vessels included: MT Tim Bgegele, that was arrested on December 3, 2019, with 381 metric tonnes of AGO and a crew of 11 Nigerians onboard; MT Zeebrugge, arrested on December 12, 2019, and laden with 838 metric tonnes of crude oil, without any valid approval. She had a crew of seven Sri-Lakans on board.

“MT Jonko was arrested on December 21, 2019, laden with 450 metric tonnes of crude oil. As at the time she was arrested, she had a crew of 11 Nigerians onboard.

“MV Ekpere Amaka was arrested on December 25, 2019, with 85 metric tonnes of AGO without valid approval. She had a crew of eight Nigerians onboard.

“MV Ella was arrested on December 27, 2019, with 100 metric tonnes of AGO without valid approval. She had a crew of one Ghanaian and six Nigerians onboard and MT Ibim which was arrested on December 27, 2019, laden with 810.5 metric tonnes of crude oil. She had a crew of 14 Nigerians onboard.

“We will like to state that the Nigerian Navy is committed to keeping Nigeria’s Maritime Environment safe and secured towards enhancing security and economic prosperity.”

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