The Nigerian Navy, on Saturday, handed over Five suspected oil thieves and eight wooden vessels to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.

Base Operations Officer, NNS Pathfinder, Commander Umar Abubakar Sidi, told newsmen that the suspects were arrested for their alleged involvement in illegal bunkering activities. He said his Base and Pathfinder activities is known for its zero tolerance in crude oil theft and illegal bunkering activities in the region.

He said: " Acting on credible intelligence, specifically on the 6th of January, 2022, our technical rivering assault squadron conducted a simultaneous raid at Isaka junction and cottage channel and the result was eight large wooden boat and five suspected where arrested.

"The boat was laden with products suspected to be illegally refined AGO and in line with the details of the harmonised standing operating procedure on arrest detention and persecution of vessels and persons in Nigerian maritime environment, we are here today to handover the suspects and boats to the State representative of Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps."

He called on Rivers indigenes and residents to desist from all activities pertaining to illegal oil refining activities due to its health cost to the populace. He also called on members of the public to perpetually liaise with security agents in their areas in terms of intelligence sharing.

The NSCDC officials commended the Navy for their support in the fight against criminality in the State and beyond. Mr I.A Peter, Head, Anti-Vandal Unit, NSCDC, received the suspects and vessels. He expressed his organisations appreciation to the Navy. He then said a thorough forensic investigation would be carried out on the arrested suspects and recobwred vessels. He said the suspects will be charged to court soon. 

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