Three suspected oil
thieves have been arrested by the Nigerian navy in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
They were arrested with two wooden boats with products suspected to be refined diesel.
The Base Operations Officer of the NNS Pathfinder, Commander Ugochikwu Ajulu, who made this known to Journalists at their base said the three suspects were arrested on board one of the boats, while they were conveying 100,000 litres of the diesel valued at N20.4 million.
Ajulu said the boats were seized along Bakana waterways of Degema Local Government Area during a routine patrol of the waterways and creeks in the area.
According to him, the first boat fully loaded with about 60 drums of the suspected stolen diesel was intercepted along the waterways while the second boat with 100 drums was seized while it anchored at Aiteo Jetty near Abonnema.
He disclosed that about 5,000 litres of diesel was also stored in one of the compartments of the boat, pointing out that the crew members of the second boat fled when they sighted the advancing naval gun boat on patrol.
The commander hinted that preliminary investigations was ongoing as to unravel the source of the products as well as the supply chain and bring all culprits to book.
Meanwhile, in order to ensure zero-bunkering and sea piracy activities, the Nigeria Navy had intensified its efforts in order to curb the menace and called on the public to provide them with concrete information that could lead to the arrest of these oil thieves in the state.