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Oil Theft: Navy Arrests 30 Ships In 9 Months

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BEVERLY HILLS, September 18, (THEWILL) – The Eastern Naval Command (ENC) of the Nigerian Navy Friday said it has so far arrested 30 ships over their suspected involvement in crude oil theft in the last nine months.

Rear Adm. Henry Babalola, out-gone Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) the ENC, disclosed this in Calabar during the handing over ceremony to his successor, Rear Adm. Atiku Abdulkadir.

“In the last nine months, we have arrested a total of 30 ships which include tug boats, Cotonou boats, and we have as well arrested a good number of oil thieves,” he said.

Babalola said that the ships were arrested for conveying adulterated crude oil and other stolen products on the waterways.

“It is to the glory of the command that during my watch as FOC, we had gallant officers who have the passion to ensure that crude oil theft and maritime crimes are reduced.

“The Command under my watch also destroyed several illegal refineries on a daily basis. We get the information, we proceed on patrol, we arrest and destroy them,'' he said.

Babalola said the destruction was done in line with the Nigerian Navy's mandate, which was to clampdown on crude oil theft and illegal refineries.

“When we arrest a ship, we go further to investigate its patrons and hand them over to the relevant government agencies…

“Throughout my stay as FOC in the ENC, we never had any case of litigation or complain of military brutality,” he said.