Men of the Nigerian Navy have arrested nine suspected oil thieves in Bayelsa state over crude oil theft.
The nine suspects were arrested aboard a vessel laden with 66,000 barrels of suspected stolen crude oil, after a tip-off at Ekremor field in Brass River area of Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state.
The vessel, MT Dera 1, belonging to an oil exploration and production company, was said to have gone to the Ekremor field for product testing but was later discovered to have illegally loaded 66,000 barrels (11 million) litres of substance suspected to be crude oil.
Commodore Salisu Jubril, who paraded the nine-member crew put the value of the crude oil at over N 1billion.
Nigeria loses billions daily to oil theft, a menace that has persisted for too long. The stolen crude fuels a lucrative black market.