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Oil theft: Navy arrest Cameroonian, Nigerians

By The Citizen

The Central Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy says it has arrested a Cameroonian and nine Nigerians for stealing crude oil in Bayelsa State.

A statement on Sunday by the Command Operations Officer, the CNC, Commodore Emmanuel Enemor, said the suspected oil thieves were arrested by the operatives of the Forward Operating Base of the Nigerian Navy, codenamed FORMOSO.

Enemor said the suspects were arrested along the offshore of the Brass River in Brass Local Government Area of the state on Friday aboard a vessel identified as MT Pauline and loaded with over 360,000 litres of Automotive Gasoline Oil suspected to have been stolen.

Enemor said, 'The captain of the seized vessel was unable to tender relevant documents, such as the NPA bunkering permit, the certificate of registration with the Joint Military Task Force and the approval for the movement of petroleum products by the Naval headquarters.

'On the 6th of September, 2013, at about 0800, a naval patrol team from FORMOSO intercepted and arrested MT Pauline offshore Brass Rivers in the Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. At the time of arrest, the vessel was loaded with over 360,000 litres of automotive Gasoline.

'The ship was arrested with 10 crew members made up of nine Nigerians and a Cameroonian. Besides, the captain was unable to tender relevant documents. Currently, FOB has commenced investigation into the sources of the suspected stolen petroleum product on board the vessel.'

He said the arrest and many others recorded in the past were a clear display of the determination of the naval commands to completely eradicate oil theft, illegal bunkering and other illegalities in the maritime environment.

'This further demonstrates the zero tolerance stance of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, against oil theft and related criminalities in the maritime domain,' he said.