The Nigerian Navy says it has arrested 14 suspected oil thieves, including two women at Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom.
Briefing journalists during the weekend, the Commanding Officer, Forward Operation Base Ibaka, Commodore Abdul Odumu, said the suspects were all arrested on the high sea following a vigorous surveillance of the maritime area by his men.
Various items impounded from the criminals, according to Commander Odumu, included a 60- feet long smugglers boat laden with over 200 drums of petroleum Motor Spirit ( PMS, ) containing 150 litres each, four standard pumping machines, and 20 drums of illicit gin.
Commander Odumu lamented the continuous activities of criminals on the nation’s territorial waters despite tough measure taken by the security agencies, and urged those involved to desist from such act as their activities is affecting the revenue base of the country.
While handling over the suspects and the products to Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDSC), Odumu, expressed the total commitment of the Navy in ensuring that the maritime sector remains an uncomfortable environment for illegal oil thieves and assured that his command would henceforth deal ruthlessly with any saboteur found on the nation’s territorial waters.
Responding, the Akwa Ibom State Commander of NSCDC, Mr. Pedro Ideba, commended the Nigerian Navy for creating an unprecedented record in protecting the nation’s water ways and for their zero tolerance to illegal oil bunkers in Akwa Ibom.