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Navy Arrests 17 Suspects, Intercepts Vessel With Stolen Crude In Ondo

The Nigerian Navy has arrested 17 people said to be engaged in the illegal siphoning of crude oil in Ondo State.

Navy spokesperson, Commodore Adedotun Olukayode Ayo-Vaughan, disclosed this in a statement, saying the suspects were nabbed at the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Igbokoda in the early hours of Thursday.

Also intercepted by the naval authorities was a 77-meter-long Motor Tanker (MT) VINNALARIS 1 Lagos.

“The vessel had 17 crew members onboard at the time of arrest and was caught engaging in illegal siphoning of crude oil from one of the well heads at EBESAN oil field about 7 nautical miles off the coast of Awoye riverine community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State,” he said.

“The apprehension of the vessel was based on credible intelligence received by the Base on the illegal activities of crude oil thieves at the location which informed the swift deployment of FOB IGBOKODA personnel to enforce the arrest of the vessel and her crew.

“Notably, as the anti-Crude Oil Theft Patrol Team of FOB IGBOKODA approached MT VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS, the 2 x boats attached to the vessel fled on sighting the naval personnel which confirmed the engagement of the vessel in illegality.”

The naval spokesman stated that on arrival at the scene, it was discovered that the vessel was actively involved in siphoning crude oil from both sides of the wellhead.

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