No fewer than 18 suspected illegal oil bunkers, speciliased in stealing crude oil from Niger Delta and sending same to Ghana, have been arrested by the Nigerian Navy ship, NNS pathfinder.
While handing the 18 suspects over to the Nigeria Police, Rivers State Command, Wednesday, the Executive Officer, NNS Pathfinder, Captain Adegoke Ebo, revealed that the leader of the team and Managing Director, (MD) Progress Incorporation, Osimili Adah were among those arrested and have since provided useful information to the security agencies.
Captain Ebo noted that two other vessels, MT APECUS and MT INVICTUS, used by the suspects for illegal activities were also impounded during the exercise.
According to him, the arrests were made based on a tip off on the kidnap of five foreign nationals and two Nigerians four weeks ago.
He said, “the arrest was premised on the knowledge that the suspects had credible information on the pirate attack reported on board MT APECUS on the 19th of April 2019 where five Indians and two Nigerians were abducted and taken away to an unknown creek in Bayelsa.
All these point to a suspected illegal activities as our preliminary investigations and self-confession by Mr Osimili Adah revealed that he’s been actively involved in souring stolen crude oil from Nigerian Creeks to Platinum Gas Oil Refinery in Tema, Ghana.’’
Captain Ebo also disclosed that the MT APECUS has been engaged in illegal activities in Nigeria since 2019 without formal authorization, under different names and flags over the years.
‘ ‘It was found that the vessel has changed name and the flag under which she operates no fewer than 15 instances. He attested to his involvement in the alleged economic and maritime related crimes and evidence available to us suggests that illicit crimes have been going on for a while. We have the names of facilities and accomplices. The suspects have just given the Nigerian Navy substantial information as well as evidence”