The Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder said on Sunday that it had handed over a vessel and wooden boat loaded with about 10,000 litres of diesel worth N11m to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The petroleum product was suspected to have been stolen as the vessel was said to be transporting the fuel without required documents.
A statement signed by the Base Information Officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, Lt.-Cdr. Hamman Ahmed, indicated that two crew members of the vessel were also handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.
The statement quoted the Commander of NNS Pathfinder, Commodore Sanusi Ibrahim, as saying that the vessel; MT Purity, and the wooden boat were impounded following a routine patrol of the waterways and creeks by navy troops on December 2, 2015.
Explaining that the seized vessel was carrying diesel suspected to have been illegally refined, Ibrahim stated that the vessel had no authorisation from the navy and other relevant government agencies to move fuel on the waterways.
According to him, “During investigation, we discovered that the vessel manned by two crew members had no competency to justify them serving on board the vessel.
“Similarly, the vessel had no authorization from both the navy and other relevant government agencies to move petroleum products. The navy willcontinue to maintain its zero tolerance on crude oil theft, illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism and piracy in the nation’s maritime environment.”
He, nevertheless, urged the public not to relent in assisting the navy and other security agencies with vital information that would lead to the arrest of oil thieves and other economic saboteurs.
The Head of Counter-terrorism and General Investigation of the EFCC in Rivers State, Mr. David Iyang, received the seized vessel, wooden boat and suspects from the NNS Pathfinder.
Iyang promised that those found culpable would be prosecuted by the anti-graft commission at the end of investigation.