Ten suspects, including one suspected kidnapper and nine oil thieves, were on Friday paraded by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, in Warri, Delta State.
The Commander of the NNS Delta, Commodore Raimi Mohammed, who paraded the suspects, also displayed two Cotonou boats, containing a quantity of 195,000 litres of substance suspected to be illegally refined diesel, filled into 39 units of 5000 litre GP tanks.
The navy chief also displayed arms and ammunition, as well as speedboats retrieved from the locations where his men made the arrests.
According to him, while Tombra Obaila, a member of a five-man kidnapping gang, was arrested at about 17:30 hours on Wednesday, April 27, at Ndoro camp, Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, the nine suspected oil thieves were arrested at an undisclosed location.
“In line with the CNS strategic directives and the mandate of the Flag Officer Commanding the Central Naval Command, to rid the maritime environment of crude oil theft and other illegalities in the Central Naval Command’s area of responsibility, NNS Delta has continued on its aggressive patrols within its Area of operation to reduce kidnapping, sea robbery and hijacking among others to the barest minimum.
“In this regard, NNS Delta patrol team intercepted and arrested 10 suspects with two sea-going Cotonou boats, laden with a total of 39 X 5000 litres GP tanks containing products suspected to be illegally refined diesel. Other items recovered include a speedboat with 200 horsepower engine and 13 pumping machines. The speedboat was used for surveillance ahead of the Cotonou boats.
“In another development, a member of a suspected kidnap gang, Mr Tombra Obaila, is currently in our custody. The NNS Delta patrol team encountered the gang at about 1730 on 27 April, 2016, at Ndoro camp in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa state. The 5-man gang, in two speedboats, opened fire on sighting the NNS Delta patrol team. The team engaged the gang and overpowered it, forcing its members to run into the creeks, abandoning their boats and other items”, he said.
The recovered items from the gang included one FN rifle, its magazine and 57 rounds of 6.72mm live ammunition. Others were a locally-made gun, two AK47 empty magazines, 16 mobile phones, 2 face masks, 3 speedboat fuel lines, one 140 horsepower and one 90 horsepower boat engines.
On the controversy being generated over the recent confiscation of speedboats fitted with 200 and above horsepower engines, Mohammed said the Navy or government had not banned their use, but restricted them to lawful activities that could be verified by authorities.
Make Money Online in Nigeria... Click HERE To Start Now!