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Nigerian Navy Arrests 150 Suspects over Illegal Oil Bunkering in Rivers

“The arrest we made is quite huge and the arrested suspects were handed over to the relevant agents for prosecutions. We have taken the arrested suspects to EFCC.”

The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder said it has arrested over 150 suspects allegedly involved in illegal oil bunkering in various parts of Rivers State.

The outgoing Commander of the base, Commodore Suliaman Ibrahim, made the disclosure on Monday, while speaking with journalists during a send-off parade organised in his honour at the NNS Pathfinder, Port Harcourt.

Recalling some of his achievements since he assumed office 16 months ago, Ibrahim disclosed that over 100 Cotonou boats used for the illegal bunkering were impounded, illegal oil refining sites were also destroyed by operatives of the base within their areas of coverage.

He revealed that the arrested suspects have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for onward investigation and prosecution.

Ibrahim, noted that the consistent commitment in fighting crude oil theft and illegal refining activities in the state recently led to increased crude oil production for Nigeria.

He said the achievements were made through various transformations, including daily training, swimming, range classification, anti-attack drills and creation of the Tactical Riverine Assault Squadron (TRAS) amongst others.

According to the outgoing NNS Pathfinder commander “We arrested 100s of Cotonou boats, we also arrested over 150 persons for illegal oil bunkering. The arrest we made is quite huge and the arrested suspects were handed over to the relevant agents for prosecutions. We have taken the arrested suspects to EFCC.

“We went through various transformations to enable us meet contemporary changes. These changes include various physical training, swimming, range classifications and anti-attacks drills. Others were the creation of tactical riverine Squadron amongst others.

“It’s pertinent to state that this transformation did not come easy, however they were key to successes of the Nigerian Navy and in particular Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder in its fight against illegalities within the maritime domain of Rivers State.

“The base was instrumental to the increased on shore crude oil production with the effective support and escort provided during the crude barging operations.

“This of course would not have been possible without the collaboration between the navy and the oil companies.”

Ibrahim, also commended the sister agencies for their tactical collaboration in ensuring the safety of the waterways, especially in the base area of coverage.

“I must also recognise the synergy that the base enjoyed with other sister services and agencies. That has ensured the peaceful atmosphere being enjoyed in Rivers State. I thank all commanders and rates of services and sister agencies for your continued support and collaboration.”

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

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