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Navy detains 8 suspected diesel smugglers

Kingseyi
Kingseyi
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Navy detains 8 suspected diesel smugglers Empty Navy detains 8 suspected diesel smugglers

Post by Kingseyi on Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:04 pm

Troops of the Nigerian Navy in Port Harcourt on
Friday arrested eight men accused of smuggling
about 200,000 litres of adulterated diesel
believed to be worth over N50 million.
The suspects, who were arrested along Taraba
Jetty waterways, were alleged to have sourced
the petroleum product from unapproved refining
site.
Cdr. Ikenna Okoloagu, the Base Operation
Officer, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder,
Port Harcourt, paraded the eight suspected
smugglers and vessel before newsmen in Port
Harcourt.
“The arrest followed routine patrols of our area
of operation with the focus to stem crude oil
theft, illegal bunkering and other illegal activities
within the maritime environment.
“In the course of such patrols, one of our patrol
elements accosted MT Watergate 1 at Taraba
Jetty on April 11 on suspicion of engaging in
illicit activities.
Okoloagu said that troops after boarding the
vessel found out that the vessel was laden with
200,000 litres of petroleum products suspected
to be illegally refined diesel.
According to him, the naval team thereafter
demanded from the suspects, the vessel’s
permit to move the petroleum product and where
it was sourced.
“But the captain of the vessel (MT Wateragate 1)
refused to provide any information in this regard.
So, the source of the product remained
questionable.
“To this end, the eight crewmen were arrested
and the vessel seized as part of preliminary
investigation to unravel the circumstances of the
petroleum product,” he said.
Okoloagu said that the navy would not relent on
its commitment to rid the nation’s maritime
environment of illicit activities for legitimate
social and economic activities to thrive.
The officer handed over the eight suspected
smugglers and vessel to operatives of the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC) to conduct further investigation and
possible prosecution of the suspects in court.
“The handover of the suspects and vessel is in
line with the Harmonised Standard Operating
Procedures that guides our operation,” he
added.
NAN


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