EFCC grills 25 suspected oil thieves in Port Harcourt

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Twenty- five suspected oil thieves handed over to the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by the Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Bonny Island, Rivers State, are being quizzed for their alleged involvement in illegal oil bunkering.

The suspects were handed over to the EFCC, alongside two Vessels: MT Bright Hope and MV Johanna II on Wednesday at Bonny Island.

A statement by the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said 12 of the suspects were arrested on board MV Johanna II on July 14, 2021 around IMA Oil Terminal, Bonny Island, while the remaining 13 suspects were arrested on board MT Bright Hope on September 10 offshore Bonny Island.

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MV was flying a Togolese flag and one of the suspects arrested with the vessel is a Ghanaian.

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Some of the suspects are captains of the two vessels, Kenneth Ekpo and Moses Baron.

Others are Lucky Onome, Edmund Asari Joseph, Asuquo Okon, Itoro Effiong, Sunday Obonla, Melcm Agobiam, Imoh Timothy, Godfriend Bartheolomew, Promise Emmanuel and Patrick Oliseneku.

Captain R. T. Oladejo while handing over the suspects said they and the vessels were arrested by the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Gondola in an anti- bunkering operation.

According to him, MT Bright Hope was loaded with 1,371,256 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and 62,431 litres of suspected illegally- refined Automotive Gas Oil.

MT Johanna, on the other hand, was loaded with 39,400 litres of product suspected to be AGO.

The statement read, “Assistant Superintendent of the EFCC, ASE Arasah Shaka took over the suspects and the vessels on behalf of the EFCC.

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“He commended the Navy for its synergy with the EFCC and tireless efforts and commitment towards ridding the country of illegal oil activities.

He also assured that further investigations would be done and the culpable suspects charged to court accordingly.”

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