The Nigerian Navy on Wednesday handed over six suspected oil thieves with 3,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil and three vehicles to Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps for prosecution.
The Commander, NNS Jubilee, Ikot Abasi, Commodore Saidu Garba, while handing over the suspects, said they were arrested by a joint team of `Operation Thunder’.
Garba said that the suspects were apprehended with two vehicles loaded with products suspected to be AGO at Ikot Osute axis and a Toyota Camry car.
He said, “In line with the mandate to rid our Area of Operations of crime and economic saboteurs, the patrols have yielded positive results.
“NNS Jubilee has stepped up its patrols to ensure credible presence and create a secure environment for law abiding citizens.
“Items recovered from the suspects, include a bus with Ex-Servicemen Transport service, with registration number KKN-139XA while that of Akwa Ibom Transport agency s KTE-89XA.
“Other vehicle recovered from the suspects is a black Toyota Camry with registration number GUA-15 ICA.”
Garba warned all perpetrators of oil theft, illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism, sea robbery and other criminal activities to desist from these nefarious activities, as there was no hiding place for crime in its area of operations.
He advised the public to be vigilant and report anyone involved in criminal activities to appropriate security agencies for necessary action.
He said, “NNS Jubilee on its part will intensify patrol and continue to provide a secure environment both ashore and at sea to enhance legitimate economic activities even beyond its area of operations.”
Receiving the suspects and exhibits, the Chief Superintendent of NSCDC, Ikot Abasi, Mr. Nkem Ojimba, commended the effort of the Navy to reduce oil theft to the baarest minimum in the state.
He said the Federal Government frowned at vandalism, pipeline breaking and other nefarious crimes in the region.
He said, “I want to assure you that any exhibit or suspect given to us, will be adequately prosecuted and convicted according to the law.”
Speaking on behalf of the suspects, Mr. Udeme Ikie, who hailed from Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, confessed to the crime.
He said that he bought the product from a tanker and gathered it until it reached 10 liters of drum before conveying the product to Uyo.
He said, “I got the product from a tanker in Imo state. When I bought the product, I gathered it when it reached 10 drums, we move the products to Uyo.”
He said that this was his first time in the business as he was coming from Onne inChief Superintendent of NSCDC, Ikot Abasi, Mr. Nkem Ojimba
The suspects used transparent polythene bags to tie the AGO and kept in a black coloured vehicles belonging to Ex-Servicemen Transport Service and Akwa Ibom Transport Agency Ltd.