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Navy arrest 20 Oil thieves, seizes MTT4 vessel

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Navy arrest 20 Oil thieves, seizes MTT4 vesselThe Nigerian Navy turned over the seized vessel – MTT4 and 20 suspected oil thieves on Saturday to officials at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Bayelsa.

Commodore Patrick Effah, the commander of the Nigerian Navy Soroh ship, NNS, delivered the ship to the EFCC in Brass, Bayelsa.

Effah said the ship was loaded with 700,000 liters of illegally sourced crude oil.

He said the ship was intercepted on December 6, 2021 on the Akassa River, while the crew was arrested for leniency in the theft of crude oil.

He said that the delivery to the commission was in compliance with the directives of the naval headquarters, adding that the vessel and its crew were accomplices in the crime bordering on economic sabotage.

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“The Nigerian Navy has been given the mandate to apprehend any ship suspected of committing illegalities in the Nigerian maritime domain, however, by law, we are unable to prosecute offenders.

“We are directed to turn over the seized vessels to the EFCC for further investigation and possible prosecution,” he said.

Anthony Mark, EFCC team officer, Port Harcourt Zone Office, who received the vessel, reiterated the commission’s willingness to conduct a full investigation into the matter.

“We will carry out a thorough investigation with a view to determining the level of participation, the content of the vessel and the prosecution of those involved,” he said.

The Nigerian News Agency reports that officials from the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, collected samples of the container’s contents for further laboratory analysis.

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