Posted on June 06, 2018 by Hannah Berry
Arrests have been made after 12 men were caught allegedly stealing 200,000 litres of diesel, worth in the region of N44 million. The thieves were caught as they loaded the petroleum product from a large metallic barge into Lagos registered vessel, MV Naye III.
The Nigerian Navy made the arrests via one of their gunboats whilst on routine patrol and Capt. Victor Choji, the Executive Officer, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, marched the suspects before new outlets on Monday 3rd June in Isaka, Okirika, Rivers.
All 12 crewmen on board the vessel were initially arrested on 7th May at about 2300 hours to allow authorities to ascertain where the diesel was sourced from and establish its owners.
One of the detained suspects and the captain of MV Naye III, Babatunde Taiwo, explained to news outlets that the diesel was sourced from an illegal refinery in the state.
The suspect also claimed that they were hired by Lakeside Limited, a company based in Lagos to obtain the diesel.
Capt. Choji has now handed the vessel over to representatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to carry out further investigations on the matter. He has urged the public to support the work of the Nigerian Navy and assist in bringing perpetrators to justice, whilst assuring them of their anonymity. He said that “We are passionate and committed to ensuring that only lawful social and economic activities thrive within the state maritime environment.”