The Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, has arrested 12 suspected oil thieves during one of its regular surveillance in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Commanding Officer of the FOB, Commodore Abdu Odumu, disclosed this to newsmen on Monday. According to him, 200 drums of 250 litres each of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) were also seized from the suspects. Other items seized were a boat, four pumping machines and 20 drums of illicit gin.
Odumu said that the arrest was as a result of regular patrol. He noted that oil theft had drastically reduced the nation’s revenue from crude oil.
“If Nigeria continues to lose this on daily basis, it is going to have a negative impact on the revenue of the country,” he said.
The Nigerian Navy would not tolerate oil theft and other illegalities committed at sea within Nigeria’s territorial waters, Odumu vowed.
He then handed over the suspects to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, for further investigation and possible prosecution.
Responding, the NSDCDC’s Commandant in Akwa Ibom, Pedro Ideba congratulated the Nigerian Navy on its effort to clamp down oil theft in the state.
“This is one of the numerous arrests made by the Nigerian Navy and handed over to us. It is only in Nigeria that we had a lot of oil theft and bunkering activities,” he said.
According to him, the command will continue to partner with the Nigerian Navy in order to reduce oil theft to its barest minimum.